This chapter covers Robbins’s writings on macroeconomics in the pre-war and post-war periods. His pre-war contributions, most notably in The Great Depression,were centred on the Wicksell-Mises theory of fluctuations, though behind this there lay a profound appreciation on Robbins’s part of the Classical analysis. It emerges that, in the post-war period, Robbins retained much of this analysis despite an ostensible surrender to Keynesianism. He shed the explicitly Austrian elements but retained not only the Classical but also the Wicksellian roots. From this vantage point he was able to provide commentary on, and analysis of, post-war macroeconomic policy. He was frequently a lonely figure in this context, at odds with the post-war consensus among economists; but events often vindicated his position and shifts of opinion made him less isolated as time passed.
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D. P. O’Brien
- Palgrave Macmillan UK