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Keynes against Kalecki on economic method

Anna Carabelli () and Mario Cedrini ()

Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, 2017, vol. 40, issue 3, 349-375

Abstract: In the past twenty years, there has been considerable debate on the “coherence” of post Keynesian economics, in view of post Keynesian economists’ ambitions to develop a paradigmatic alternative to neoclassical economics. Given the growing importance of methodological aspects in this discussion, this article addresses the differences of approach to economic theory between the fathers of the two most important strands in post Keynesian economics. We thus focus on Keynes’s criticism of Kalecki’s theory of the business cycle and the tensions between Keynes’s logical approach and Kaleki’s formal modeling. We show that in criticizing Kalecki’s theory, Keynes made use of the same methodological criticism (based on detecting logical fallacies in reasoning) he had employed to attack both the classical theory and contemporary “pseudo-mathematical” models. After illustrating these fundamental differences between Keynes and Kalecki about the proper way of doing economics, we draw some conclusions on the possible future evolution of post Keynesian economics.

Date: 2017
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