A. T H E L O N G -P E R IO D A N D T H E G E N E R A L T H E O R Y

As one of the Cambridge economists working closely with Keynes during the development of the General Theory, it is not surprising to find Joan Robinson among the main contributors to the extension of the Keynesian framework into the long period. In fact, Professor Robinson had developed, as early as 1936, an extension of the theory of employment to long-run considerations.1 It was not, however, until Harrod’s later work that Mrs Robinson concerned herself primarily with long-period growth, and even then she chose not only to look to an extension of the Harrod model in the context of Keynes and Kalecki, but also to delve into existing classical and neoclassical theory in search of a generalised theory of growth.2 Her cognisance of the propositions and deficiencies of both previous approaches has led her to a thorough and broad-based analysis of the problem. B. E A S Y Q U E S T IO N S A N D D I F F I C U L T

A N S W E R S Mrs Robinson’s first concerted challenge to existing theory came in a paper entitled ‘The Production Function and the

Theory of Capital’,1 when she openly challenged the neo­ classical economists to define the value of the capital term used in the production function to determine distribution via marginal productivity. By 1955 she had completed her own analysis of the problem in The Accumulation o f Capital. 2 The book contained not only the method of analysis used later by Kaldor and Pasinetti, but also a preliminary analysis of the problem of switching of techniques and an extended treatment of the effects of technical progress. Analysis of land, rent, marginal productivity doctrine, monetary factors and an extension of the theory to international trade are also included. These latter aspects of the work have been largely overlooked. Professor Robinson’s other writings on these subjects appear primarily in Parts I and II of Collected Papers, Volume II ,3 and her most recent views on accumulation in Essays in the Theory of Economic Growth.4