The Great Depression and Keynes’s General Theory

White, Lawrence H. "The Great Depression and Keynes's General Theory." In The Clash of Economic Ideas: The Great Policy Debates and Experiments of the Last Hundred Years. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2012.

From Cambridge University Press:

The Clash of Economic Ideas interweaves the economic history of the last hundred years with the history of economic doctrines to understand how contrasting economic ideas have originated and developed over time to take their present forms. It traces the connections running from historical events to debates among economists, and from the ideas of academic writers to major experiments in economic policy. The treatment offers fresh perspectives on laissez faire, socialism, and fascism; the Roaring Twenties, business cycle theories, and the Great Depression; Institutionalism and the New Deal; the Keynesian Revolution; and war, nationalization, and central planning. After 1945, the work explores the postwar revival of invisible-hand ideas; economic development and growth, with special attention to contrasting policies and thought in Germany and India; the gold standard, the interwar gold-exchange standard, the postwar Bretton Woods system, and the Great Inflation; public goods and public choice; free trade versus protectionism; and finally fiscal policy and public debt. The investigation analyzes the theories of Adam Smith and earlier writers on economics when those antecedents are useful for readers.


Table of Contents:


1. The turn away from laissez faire

2. The Bolshevik revolution and the socialist calculation debate

3. The Roaring Twenties and Austrian business cycle theory

4. The New Deal and institutionalist economics

5. The Great Depression and Keynes’s General Theory

6. The Second World War and Hayek’s Road to Serfdom

7. Postwar British Socialism and the Fabian Society

8. The Mont Pelerin Society and the rebirth of Smithian economics

9. The postwar German “wonder economy” and ordoliberalism

10. Indian planning and development economics

11. Bretton Woods and international monetary thought

12. The great inflation and monetarism

13. The growth of government: public goods and public choice

14. Free trade, protectionism, and trade deficits

15. From pleasant deficit spending to unpleasant sovereign debt crisis.

Cambridge University Press