The Sweet and Sour of Befriending Americans
Toward the end of her life, Joan Robinson had a definite opinion about the evolution of American neoclassical thought: The doctrines in the United States were derived from the stream of thought elaborated by Robert Clower, taken up by Axel Leijonhufvud, which tried to derive Keynes from the general equilibrium theory of Walras, considered to be the foundation of economics. Robert Clower was from the American Northwest, and was probably the only Northwesterner Robinson ever knew. The capital controversy stimulated economists of many persuasions to talk about the same things even while they disagreed with each other. The Cambridge view was that Americans were imprisoned by an unshakable belief structure. Axel Leijonhufvud had come to the United States in 1960 for graduate study after earning his undergraduate degree in Sweden at the University of Lund.