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Looking for Stability: Repercussions of the Russian Revolution in the Work of John Maynard Keynes

František Svoboda ()
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František Svoboda: Masaryk University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Public Economics, Brno, Czech Republic

Panoeconomicus, 2017, vol. 64, issue 4, 477-492

Abstract: The paper analyses and proposes an answer to the question of how the Russian revolution is reflected in the work of John Maynard Keynes. The starting point of the analysis is an interesting yet not very well known episode of the economist’s life: a period when Keynes, then a British Treasury official, was entrusted with the task of creating a currency for Northern Russia. The ensuing design and architecture of the North Russian rouble virtually became an opportunity for Keynes to put into practice some of his general currency-related ideas, and the entire project influenced Keynes’s economic thought in two specific ways. First, the Russian experience can be traced in the economist’s reflections on two fundamentally different financial policies: the inflationary approach adopted by the Bolsheviks, and the anti-inflationary strategy of the British government. Keynes made use of his experience with the Russian hyperinflation in a multitude of his works, especially in the papers on inflation and its consequences. Second, certain elements of the project influenced the actual formation of Keynes’s view on the function and balancing of the international monetary markets. This part is based on monitoring the continuity of thoughts and actions, starting from India Currency and Finance and ending with the North Russian rouble and the design of the bancor.

Keywords: John Maynard Keynes; Russian revolution; Inflation; International currency (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B31 E51 F33 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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