chapter  Five
12 Pages

Keynesian Conversion in Both Cambridges

Joan Robinson became an initiate and apostle simultaneously with the emergence of Keynesian thought. Joan Robinson was also in close contact with Keynes. Conversion to Keynesianism was probably exceptional outside of Cambridge University. Keynes delivered three or four lectures on the General Theory during that period. It is important to make a distinction between the policies which are loosely associated with the Keynesian revolution, and the theory of Keynes. Keynesian theory was macroeconomic in the sense that it approached the economy as a whole—total output, gross national product, and so on. From the American point of view, what Keynes had done was to provide a theory of aggregate output and a new set of concepts to economists of all persuasions. His theories strengthened the hands of institutionalists who were already convinced that intervention in the economy was necessary to its very functioning, and who were oriented toward historical and evolutionary approaches.