In a period marked by revisionism in economic theory and retrenchment in the public goals of economic policy, Tobin remains committed to the standard he has upheld throughout his professional life. He is an "eclectic Keynesian" in theory whose socioeconomic concern is to reduce poverty, inequality, and discrimination through the maintenance of full employment and economic growth and through such policies as the negative income tax and other income transfers.
This fourth volume in the series of Nobel laureate James Tobin's classic papers represents his work since 1980. Both national and international views are intermingled among the 36 chapters on macroeconomics and fiscal policy, savings, stabilization policy, international coordination of macroeconomic policy, monetary policy, and exchange rates. Several tributes to colleagues—including Walter Heller and Seymour Harris—round out the collection.
In these timely essays, Nobel prizewinning economist James Tobin shows how Keynesian economics offers corrective treatment for the economic ailments we have faced under the Ford, Carter, and Reagan administrations.
Volume 2 of James Tobin's Essays in Economics brings together twenty papers published between 1940 and 1972. These cover macroeconomics, particularly the theory of the relationship between unemployment and inflation and the dilemma their connection poses for policy; consumption function, which is also related to macroeconomic theory and to the theory of individual behavior; consumer theory and statistical method applied to the problem of rationing; and the development and application of econometric methods suitable for the empirical analysis of consumer behavior.
The juxtaposition of Kennedy and Reagan approaches to economic problems is particularly instructive in that they express the two major - and quite different - approaches of macroeconomic policy in the past three decades: the 1962 Kennedy Camelot which relied on traditional Keynesian economics, and the 1982 Reagan program which called for a supplyside solution to the country's economic difficulties. From today's vantage point it is useful to compare what these two different groups of economic advisors planned to do, what they did, and what the results were.