Anticipations of Keynes’s General Theory?
The answer to the question of whether John Maynard Keynes's General Theory had been anticipated by others depends critically on what is taken to be the 'central message' of that theory. The theory of effective demand interpreted narrowly as an explanation of the factors determining the short-period equilibrium level of employment, and the stability of that level given the rate of investment, is thus an incomplete statement of the central message of the General Theory. Michal Kalecki explains the equality between profits and the sum of capitalists' consumption and investment, with which he begins his 1933 article, as a consequence of the national income identity between gross national product and gross national expenditure. A possible explanation of Keynes's error in his definition of the aggregate demand function is his use, in the early formulations of his theory, of the concept of a single giant firm in the economy.