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Clower's about-face regarding the 'Keynesian Revolution'

Plassard, Romain (2015): Clower's about-face regarding the 'Keynesian Revolution'.

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Abstract

Robert W. Clower’s article “The Keynesian Counter-Revolution: A Theoretical Appraisal” (1965) deeply influenced the course of Keynesian macroeconomics by contributing to the transition from IS/LM macroeconomics to fix-price theories. Despite this influence, no scholar proposed to explain its origins, with the notable exception of Roger E. Backhouse and Mauro Boianovsky (2013). They explained that the 1965 piece was the result of an independent research program rooted in the works of Clower during the 1950s. My paper aims to offer an alternative explanation. It is synthesized in the metaphor of an about-face to stress that a theoretical break is at the origin of this contribution. This break, initiated in the early 1960s, is characterized by a double change in perspective (individual equilibrium vs. individual disequilibrium, and compatibility vs. incompatibility between Keynesian and Walrasian theories). The intellectual context, particularly Don Patinkin (1956; 1958), will be invoked to trace the roots of this about-face. Consequently, rather than independency and linearity, I argue that dependency and non-linearity are the two salient features of Clower’s intellectual path.

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