chapter  10
The value of Post Keynesian economics: a neoclassical response to Harcourt and Hamouda
Pages 8

The origins of this chapter lie in my being asked to act as one of the referees on Harcourt and Hamouda’s survey article on Post Keynesian economics. I offered such comments as I hoped would be helpful to the authors, and told the editor that whilst I found the paper a valuable statement of various Post Keynesian positions, there were several points where I was in fundamental disagreement. His response was that I would be welcome to write up these views and submit them to the journal. This chapter is the result. What it shares with several of the chapters in Part II, is an aversion to programmatic statements that are not followed up by more detailed work. Though there is interesting Post Keynesian work, there also appears to be much rehearsing of theories that have been around for many years. The contrast with mainstream economics, where the subject has been transformed almost beyond recognition since the early 1970s, is striking. This chapter is, therefore, written from the perspective of an economist who finds much that is attractive in Post Keynesian economics, but who is sceptical about how much progress is being made, and who feels that many Post Keynesians are failing to face up to the variety that is found within contemporary mainstream economics. The positive things I find in Post Keynesian economics are, therefore, rather different from what Harcourt and Hamouda find. I see it not as an alternative to mainstream economics, preferring to focus on specific examples of theorizing rather than broad categories like these, but as a valuable source of critical questions concerning particular areas of economics.