chapter  Fourteen
15 Pages

North America in the Sixties: Visits and Exchanges

Before World War II, Joan Robinson's travels had been more personal than professional. First there were those years in India with her husband, and then some mountain climbing expeditions to Switzerland. After the war, she was an avid traveler. She particularly enjoyed visiting India and China and other developing nations. Her enthusiasm for China was considered scandalous by some, but the record is that Robinson asked hard questions wherever she went. Her visits to the United States during this postwar period were just a minor part of her travel, but they are important in the history of economic doctrine. Joan Robinson's reading of Clarence Ayres' Theory of Economic Progress led to a correspondence between them which highlights Robinson's openness, her suspicion of American intellectuals, and the philosophical distance between her and American institutionalists. In 1977 she would address American economists again, in their Journal of Economic Literature.