Thursday, July 26, 2012

New Acquisition

The Elgar Companion to Post-Keynesian Economics

Sitting in a free book pile in the econ department. It's the first edition, and a second edition is out so it's older, but it's still a nice one to have - and hard copy!

This will be useful, I think, for my Macro Political Economy class this fall.


  1. Daniel Kuehn, have you seen Dr. Michael Emmett Brady's review of that book? I personally think that you might want to read it, so that you don't buy too deeply into their theories, never mind that of Subjective Expected Utility...

  2. That's a book I've been wanting to get. Shit, my econ department needs to have a pile of free books too.

    1. I'm not sure it's worth the time, the paper, or the money, given certain claims by the Post Keynesian school. For example, defining "non-numerical" meaning "no numbers", when the actual context of A Treatise on Probability means the use of TWO numbers, with a lower bound and an upper bound? Dr. Michael Emmett Brady met a French doctoral candidate and told him about this. The French doctoral candidate thought it was "stupid".

    2. As you know, Blue Aurora, I don't really have a dog in the PK/Brady fights. But as in so many cases, presumably the French doctoral candidate might have a somewhat more sympathetic reaction if he heard it explained from the PK's perspective.

      Antagonists aren't always the best expositors of a theory, unless they are in regular and tolerant dialogue with the other side.

    3. I technically don't have a dog in fight between Dr. Michael Emmett Brady and his tussle with the Post Keynesians. I have read the sections of the TP that Dr. Brady refers to that the Post Keynesians themselves seem to have difficulty understanding. It's also obvious from their citations that they only refer to the introductory part of the Treatise on Probability: Chapter 3. They do not cite the more difficult chapters. See the following paper on this subject.

      Antagonists might not always be the best expositors of a theory unless they are in regular and tolerant dialogue with each other, that is true. But this is no excuse for mathematical illiteracy. The Treatise on Probability is a difficult work of philosophy and mathematics. If the Post Keynesians had asked for a historian of mathematics or a logician for help, then there would be no need for the work of Dr. Michael Emmett Brady to correctly examine Keynes's work.

      In any case, what do you think of Dr. Brady's review of The Elgar Companion to Post Keynesian Economics?

      Dr. Michael Emmett Brady thinks that Edward Elgar has become a platform for the Post Keynesians to preach to the choir, but I disagree with him on that. The Post Keynesians have been growing in influence via the econoblogosphere...

  3. Replies
    1. It had better not fucking happen again.

      We have standards here, Jonathan.

    2. "I have read the sections of the TP that Dr. Brady refers to that the Post Keynesians themselves seem to have difficulty understanding. "

      I suspect that TP is of marginal relevance to Post Keynesian (PK) economics.

      Does Dr Brady have any substantive policy differences from PK economists?

      If not, his criticisms are of minor theoretical significance. E.g., he complains that Post Keynesians do not emphasise degrees of uncertainty. Fine. That requires a quite minor revision in PK theory.

    3. The Treatise on Probability demonstrates the non-linearity and non-additivity of decision-making itself, and Keynes uses lower and upper bounds to prove this, and refers to George Boole in Chapters 15 and 17. Dr. Brady's policy differences are somewhat Smithian in nature, that is to say, curtailing speculative activity. Dr. Brady has told me that the Post Keynesians get the D-Z model wrong on top of not understanding the Treatise on Probability. Keynes's probability theory is based on the work of George Boole, which itself is incredibly difficult.

      Perhaps Keen's MINSKY program can save them from their incorrect depiction of the D-Z model, but only time will tell.


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