econintersect.com
       
  

FREE NEWSLETTER: Econintersect sends a nightly newsletter highlighting news events of the day, and providing a summary of new articles posted on the website. Econintersect will not sell or pass your email address to others per our privacy policy. You can cancel this subscription at any time by selecting the unsubscribing link in the footer of each email.



posted on 20 February 2016

Why Is The General Theory General? Take Two

from Dirk Ehnts, Econoblog101

I have recently commented on why the General Theory by Keynes (1936) is a general theory.

Reading chapter 3, I might change my mind:

The classical doctrine, on the other hand, which used to be expressed categorically in the statement that "Supply creates its own Demand" and continues to underlie all orthodox economic theory, involves a special assumption as to the relationship between these two functions. For "Supply creates its own Demand" must mean that f(N) and φ(N) are equal for all values of N, i.e. for all levels of output and employment; and that when there is an increase in Z( = f(N)) corresponding to an increase in N, D( =f(N)) necessarily increases by the same amount as Z. The classical theory assumes, in other words, that the aggregate demand price (or proceeds) always accommodates itself to the aggregate supply price; so that, whatever the value of N may be, the proceeds D assume a value equal to the aggregate supply price Z which corresponds to N. That is to say, effective demand, instead of having a unique equilibrium value, is an infinite range of values all equally admissible; and the amount of employment is indeterminate except in so far as the marginal disutility of labour sets an upper limit.

If this were true, competition between entrepreneurs would always lead to an expansion of employment up to the point at which the supply of output as a whole ceases to be elastic, i.e. where a further increase in the value of the effective demand will no longer be accompanied by any increase in output. Evidently this amounts to the same thing as full employment. In the previous chapter we have given a definition of full employment in terms of the behaviour of labour. An alternative, though equivalent, criterion is that at which we have now arrived, namely a situation, in which aggregate employment is inelastic in response to an increase in the effective demand for its output. Thus Say's law, that the aggregate demand price of output as a whole is equal to its aggregate supply price for all volumes of output, is equivalent to the proposition that there is no obstacle to full employment. If, however, this is not the true law relating the aggregate demand and supply functions, there is a vitally important chapter of economic theory which remains to be written and without which all discussions concerning the volume of aggregate employment are futile.

This seems to imply that Say's Law is the special case, whereas the General Theory allows for supply/demand imbalances, mostly supply being limited by demand. Rereading chapter 1 ...

I shall argue that the postulates of the classical theory are applicable to a special case only and not to the general case, the situation which it assumes being a limiting point of the possible positions of equilibrium. Moreover, the characteristics of the special case assumed by the classical theory happen not to be those of the economic society in which we actually live, with the result that its teaching is misleading and disastrous if we attempt to apply it to the facts of experience.

... I now conclude that the postulates of classical theory are more or less "similar" to Say's Law of supply being always equal to demand. At least Say's Law is made plausible by the discussion of these assumptions, so the two are intertwined.

>>>>> Scroll down to view and make comments <<<<<<

Click here for Historical Opinion Post Listing










Make a Comment

Econintersect wants your comments, data and opinion on the articles posted. You can also comment using Facebook directly using he comment block below.




Econintersect Opinion


search_box

Print this page or create a PDF file of this page
Print Friendly and PDF


The growing use of ad blocking software is creating a shortfall in covering our fixed expenses. Please consider a donation to Econintersect to allow continuing output of quality and balanced financial and economic news and analysis.


Take a look at what is going on inside of Econintersect.com
Main Home
Analysis Blog
Was Marx Right?
Angst in America, Part 4: Disappearing Pensions
News Blog
March 2017 Pending Home Sales Seasonally Adjusted Index Declines
Durable Goods New Orders Improved in March 2017
22 April 2017 Initial Unemployment Claims Rolling Average Marginally Improves
Infographic Of The Day: These Are The Countries Most and Least Prepared For Cyber Attacks
Documentary Of The Week: History Of The World From The Beginning Of 'Time'
The Four Factors That Decide How We Feel About Income Inequality
Why Mexican Immigrants Are Healthier Than Their US-born Peers
The US View On Climate Change
Hilarious Security Camera Compilation
Brexit: Whither The Pound?
Is Chinese Growth Overstated?
Trading Ideas Between Countries
Recession To Recovery: A Decade In Perspective
Investing Blog
Facebook Is Coming After Snapchat From All Sides
Know Your Energy Sector
Opinion Blog
Squeezing The Philippine Peso
Trump Just Imposed A New Tax On Lumber
Precious Metals Blog
A New Age For Gold
Live Markets
27Apr2017 Pre-Market Commentary: Wall Street To Open Higher, But May Not Remain In The Green By The Close, WTI Crude Trading In The Mid 48 Handle And Slipping
Amazon Books & More






.... and keep up with economic news using our dynamic economic newspapers with the largest international coverage on the internet
Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government































 navigate econintersect.com

Blogs

Analysis Blog
News Blog
Investing Blog
Opinion Blog
Precious Metals Blog
Markets Blog
Video of the Day
Weather

Newspapers

Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government
     

RSS Feeds / Social Media

Combined Econintersect Feed
Google+
Facebook
Twitter
Digg

Free Newsletter

Marketplace - Books & More

Economic Forecast

Content Contribution

Contact

About

  Top Economics Site

Investing.com Contributor TalkMarkets Contributor Finance Blogs Free PageRank Checker Active Search Results Google+

This Web Page by Steven Hansen ---- Copyright 2010 - 2017 Econintersect LLC - all rights reserved