Robertson, Money, and Monetarism

  • Thomas Wilson


Of the great economists of the twentieth century, there is, perhaps, none whose work is now more neglected than Dennis Robertson. This neglect might be understandable — though not, from a scholarly standpoint, justifiable — if Robertson had been concerned only with topics that are no longer of interest to economists; but this, of course, was not the case. If the views of J. M. Keynes still deserve close attention, those of D. H. Robertson cannot properly be set aside as unimportant and irrelevant. For many years the two worked closely together at Cambridge, each much influenced in developing his ideas by what the other was doing. Austin Robinson has observed that Keynes regarded Robertson as ‘the keeper of his conscience. If he could convince Dennis, he felt that he was right’.2 This was an important role but it was not his only one, for Robertson’s own creative contributions were at times ahead of Keynes’s own thinking. Did not Keynes, himself, describe Hawtrey and Robertson as respectively, his ‘grandparent and parent in the paths of errancy’?3 Although in the thirties their ideas diverged and collaboration gave place to controversy, their disagreements are in themselves illuminating. One can understand Keynes and the neo-Keynesians better if one is also familiar with what Robertson had to say. Thus John Hicks once observed that the effect on his own mind, and on Nicholas Kaldor’s, of the General Theory had been profound.


Monetary Policy Real Wage Money Supply Rational Expectation Natural Rate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© John R. Presley 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Wilson

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