Inflation: The Downfall of Keynesian Economics

The New American Economy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009)

26 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2016

Date Written: September 15, 2016

Abstract

The downfall of Keynesian economics resulted from it being blamed for the inflation of the 1970s. In part this is because it had an inadequate theory of what caused inflation, having relied too heavily on the Phillips curve -- an idea found nowhere in Keynes' writings. In fact, Keynes was very clear that deficits caused inflation and budget surpluses were the cure. He was also well aware of the connection between deficits and monetary policy. Those who accuse Keynes of being weak on inflation are quite wrong, although the same cannot necessarily be said of his followers. Keynesian economics was also blamed for the failure of counter-cyclical policy, which became derided as fine-tuning. In fact, there are serious institutional and political problems that plague counter-cyclical policies, ironically causing them to be pro-cyclical.

Keywords: John Maynard Keynes, Keynesian economics, Phillips Curve, countercyclical policy

JEL Classification: B22, E32, E52, E58, E59, E62, E65, N20

Suggested Citation

Bartlett, Bruce, Inflation: The Downfall of Keynesian Economics (September 15, 2016). The New American Economy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2839590 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2839590

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