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John Maynard Keynes

1883 - 1946

John Maynard Keynes

John Maynard Keynes was an English macroeconomist, whose ideas revolutionised modern economic thinking, and are still used as the basis of many western capitalist economies.

  • Nationality
  • English

  • Subject
  • Economics

  • Fields
  • Macroeconomics, philosophy

  • Distinctions
  • The moniker 'founder of modern macroeconomics' is often granted him, as is the term 'Keynesian Economics'

    Heretitary peerage: Baron Keynes of Tilton, Sussex.

  • Posts
  • Director of the Bank of England.

    British government special representative and negotiator.

    A member of the Bloomsbury Group of Intellectuals.

    Director of the Eugenics Society (now Galton Institute), 1937 - 1944.

  • Publications
  • Treatise on Money, 1930

    The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, 1936

    How to Pay for the War: A radical plan for the Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1940

  • Theories
  • Keynesian economics overthrew neoclassical economics, particularly in the concept that free markets are a guarantee of eventual full employment.

    Aggregate Demand is the determinant of overall economic activity.

    State intervention as buffer against boom-bust cycles, providing investment stimulus in times of decreasing consumption/production, and regulating excessive investment by interest and taxation rates.

    Fiscal and monetary policies to counter recessions and depressions.

Keynes' work makes him one of the prominent economists of all time, who experienced the Great Depression firsthand, and developed concepts such as fiscal and monetary intervention by government to control the business cycle, particularly in times of uncontrolled excesses of inflation, unemployment, output, and consumption.

As an instigator of post-World War Two policies, he developed the counter-intuitive concept that governments should spend their way out of crisis, raising investment at times when neoclassical economics, discredited by the Depression, would propose beggar-thy-neighbour policies of tariff barriers and other import disincentives.

John Maynard Keynes

Keynes represented the British government in crucial talks with the Americans, in an attempt to rescue Britain from its post-World War Two economic crisis. He succeeded in obtaining a credit, which was finally paid back in 2006.

The Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences was first awarded in 1969, so Keynes did not receive it.

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