'The Fiscal Policy Seminar: Its Early Stages' by Richard A. Musgrave
Forthcoming, Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology
22 Pages Posted: 29 May 2019
Date Written: April 26, 2019
Alvin Hansen and John Williams’ Fiscal Policy Seminar at Harvard University is widely regarded as a key mechanism for the spread of Keynesianism in the United States. An original and regular participant, Richard A. Musgrave was invited to prepare remarks for the 50th anniversary of the seminar in 1988. These were never published, though a copy was filed with Musgrave’s papers at Princeton University. Their reproduction here is important for several reasons. First, it is one of the last reminiscences of the original participants. Second, the remarks make an important contribution to our understanding of the Harvard School of macro-fiscal policy. Third, the remarks provide interesting insights into Musgrave’s views on national economic policy making as well as the intersection between theory and practice. The reminiscence demonstrates the importance of the seminar in shifting Musgrave’s research focus and moving him to a more pragmatic approach to public finance.
Keywords: Richard A. Musgrave, Alvin Hansen, Harvard University, Fiscal Policy
JEL Classification: B22, B40, B30, H39, E62
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation