Joan Robinson (Great Thinkers in Economics)
Geoffrey Harcourt, Prue Kerr
Joan Robinson is widely considered to be amongst the greatest economists of the 20th Century. This book provides a comprehensive study of her life and work, examining her role in the making of The General Theory, her critical interest in Marxian economics, her contributions to Labour Party policy and her writings on development, especially China.
Aftermath of The General Theory 31 S mpl, rw A mpl1, rw1 B C mpl2, rw2 D E mplf, rwf D 0 Figure 3.1 Theory N1 N2 Nf N3 N4 N Full employment and involuntary unemployment in The General possible points of effective demand; on the S-curve, voluntary supplies of labour services associated with each level of the real wage and its associated money-wage and price level of wage-goods. The intersection of the two curves at E corresponds to both of Keynes’s definitions of full employment. If
former can be roughly observed in the national statistics, while s/v can be distinguished only in the abstract (see f/n 14); she also uses this argument in ‘Ideology and Analysis’ (Robinson, 1973a, C E.P., vol. V, 1979, 254–61). In Robinson (1979), Joan Robinson returns to Sraffa’s ‘model’: ‘Sraffa offered this argument as a battering ram to knock down orthodox theory and clear a space in which the Marxian theory of distribution and of prices could be elaborated’ (Robinson, 1979, C E.P., vol. V,
conditions of the class war made possible, on the one hand, and the 92 Joan Robinson possibility of its realisation in the sphere of distribution and exchange, on the other, was very much an explicit part of her thinking. Also underlying her analysis is her attempt to solve the two problems thrown up by Harrod’s seminal work: first, the stability or otherwise of the warranted rate of growth (gw) – the rate of growth which if attained would persuade business people that they had made the
classic statement of this was that ‘The long-term trend [is] but a slowly changing component of a chain of short-period situations … [not an] independent entity’ (Kalecki, 1968; 1971, 165). This later view is consistent with Joan Robinson’s 1962 statement: ‘The short period is here and now … incompatibilities in the situation will determine what will happen next. Long-period equilibrium is not at some date in the future; it is an imaginary state of affairs in which there are incompatibilities in
(b) Social outlay (c) Investment 25 25 100 10 — — 20 Pi 20ϩPi (d) ϭ100 ϭ170ϩPi The model assumes that raw materials and consumer goods produced in agriculture are purchased by the official agencies for 45 reckoned in some unit. This constitutes income accruing to (a). The output of (a) is the input for (b), which is processed and sold to the public for 100. The income of sector (b) is 25. There is a gap of 30 between the total income of (a) and (b) and the sales value of the output of (b),