As the global economic crisis continues to cause damage, some policy makers have called for a more Keynesian approach to current economic problems. In this book, the economists Peter Temin and David Vines provide an accessible introduction to Keynesian ideas that connects Keynes’s insights to today’s global economy and offers readers a way to understand current policy debates.
John Maynard Keynes (1883–1946) created the branch of economics now known as macroeconomics. He played a major role in the reconstruction of Europe and the world economy after the Second World War. Keynesian economics came to be identified with efforts to mitigate the Great Depression and with postwar economic policies that helped power a golden age of economic growth. Temin and Vines argue that Keynes also provided a way to understand the interactions among nations, and therein lies his relevance for today’s global crisis.
Temin and Vines survey economic thinking before Keynes and explain how difficult it was for Keynes to escape from conventional wisdom. They set out the Keynesian analysis of a closed economy and expand the analysis to the international economy, using a few simple graphs to present Keynes’s formal analyses in an accessible way. They discuss problems of today’s world economy, showcasing the usefulness of a simple Keynesian approach to current economic policy choices. Keynesian ideas, they argue, can lay the basis for a return to economic growth.
About the Authors
Peter Temin is Elisha Gray II Professor Emeritus of Economics at MIT and the author of Lessons from the Great Depression (MIT Press) and other books. Temin and Vines are coauthors of The Leaderless Economy: Why the World Economic System Fell Apart and How to Fix It.
David Vines is Professor of Economics and Fellow of Balliol College at the University of Oxford, and joint editor of a number of books on global economic governance. Temin and Vines are coauthors of The Leaderless Economy: Why the World Economic System Fell Apart and How to Fix It.
"Peter Temin and David Vines’s Keynes is highly relevant for today's world. Written in an accessible and lively style, it puts the history of Keynes’s thinking into the broader perspective of the history of economic thinking and the history of macroeconomic crises from the interwar years until the present day."
—Thomas Piketty, author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century
"This is the Keynesian story told in real time as Keynes tried to persuade policy makers during the decades between 1919 and 1945. It brings Keynesian thinking alive, and explores how similar today’s problems are to those experienced between the wars. Lucidly written for students but also a fascinating exploration of a revolution in economic thought."
—Simon Wren-Lewis, Professor of Economics, Merton College, University of Oxford
"John Maynard Keynes was one of the towering intellectual figures of the twentieth century and, as a result of the global financial crisis, one of the most controversial figures of the twenty-first. Peter Temin and David Vines, with characteristic clarity, explain precisely why. In so doing they dispatch much unnecessary and unfortunate confusion about the man, the work, and the legacy."
—Barry Eichengreen, George C. Pardee and Helen N. Pardee Professor of Economics and Political Science, University of California, Berkeley