Wynne Godley

A Biography

  • Alan Shipman

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Alan Shipman
    Pages 1-13
  3. Alan Shipman
    Pages 15-36
  4. Alan Shipman
    Pages 37-62
  5. Alan Shipman
    Pages 63-76
  6. Alan Shipman
    Pages 93-110
  7. Alan Shipman
    Pages 111-133
  8. Alan Shipman
    Pages 135-150
  9. Alan Shipman
    Pages 167-185
  10. Alan Shipman
    Pages 187-202
  11. Alan Shipman
    Pages 203-214
  12. Alan Shipman
    Pages 215-232
  13. Alan Shipman
    Pages 233-256
  14. Alan Shipman
    Pages 257-276
  15. Alan Shipman
    Pages 277-288
  16. Alan Shipman
    Pages 289-297
  17. Back Matter
    Pages 299-318

About this book


This  timely biography of the economist  Wynne Godley (1926-2010) charts his long and often crisis-blown route to a new way of understanding  whole economies. It shows how early frustrations as a policy-maker enabled him to glimpse the cliff-edges other macro-modellers missed, and re-arm ‘Keynesian’ theory against the orthodoxy that had tried to absorb it. Godley gained notoriety for his economic commentaries - foreseeing the malaise of the 1970s, the Reagan-Thatcher slump, the unsustainable 1980s and 1990s booms, and the crises in the Eurozone and world economies after 2008. This foresight arose from a series of advances in his understanding of national accounting, price-setting, the role of modern finance, and the use of economic data, especially to grasp the interlinkage of stocks and flows. This biography also gives due attention to Godley's life outside academic economics – including his chaotic childhood,  truncated career as a professional oboist, equally brief stints as a sculptor’s model and economist in industry, and a longer spell as  as a Treasury adviser with a mystery gift for forecasting. 

This first full-length biography traces Wynne Godley’s long career from professional musician to public servant, policymaker, tormentor of conventional macroeconomics and creator of a workable alternative – all after escaping a childhood of decaying mansions and draconian schools, and rescuing his private world from the legacy of two Freuds.  Drawing on Godley’s published and unpublished work and extensive interviews with those who knew him, the author explores Godley's improbable life and explains the lasting significance of his work.


Global recession Euro Common currency Projecting economic crisis Post-Keynesian theory Modern Monetary Theory Minsky Tobin Devaluation of British Sterling Short-term forecasting Public expenditure Tax reform Balance of payments Deindustrialisation Monetary economics Global Financial Crisis

Authors and affiliations

  • Alan Shipman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsThe Open UniversityMilton KeynesUK

Bibliographic information

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