J.E. King
J.E. King, Emeritus Professor, La Trobe University, Australia, where he has taught since 1988, and Honorary Professor, Federation University Australia. His principal research interests are in the history of heterodox economic thought, with particular reference to Marxian political economy and Post Keynesian economics.

His publications include The Rise of Neoliberalism in Advanced Capitalism: a Materialist Analysis (with M.C. Howard) (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), Nicholas Kaldor (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) and The Microfoundations Delusion (Elgar, 2013). He is also the editor of The Elgar Companion to Post Keynesian Economics (second edition, 2012).

His principal research interests are in the history of heterodox economic thought, with particular reference to Marxian political economy and Post Keynesian economics.

Interview with John E King

"This all links up with your question about the history of economic thought. One strong case for teaching HET was set out by the arch-Establishment figure Lionel Robbins many years ago (in a reference that I have lost, and would dearly like to recover!): the history of ideas demonstrates the diversity that there has always been among economists (until quite recently) on almost all issues of theory and policy. There is a slightly less punchy statement in his Theory of Economic Policy in English Classical Political Economy(Macmillan, second edition, 1978, pp. 1-2: ‘I do not think that, even in the purely analytical field, our knowledge is so far advanced to justify us in writing off as superseded the propositions of all but our immediate contemporaries; and, in the applied field, I do not think we can hope to understand the problems and policies of our own day if we do not know the problems and policies out of which they grew. I suspect that damage has been done, not merely to historical and speculative culture, but also to our practical insight, by this indifference to our intellectual past – this provincialism in time – which has become so characteristic of our particular branch of social studies’.

This is a sufficient condition for being interested in HET and continuing to teach it to students; it is not a necessary condition. The history of ideas is fascinating in its own right, irrespective of the consequences.

Support for pluralism does NOT mean (of course) that I have no views favouring some ideas/schools over others. I’ve always been interested in Marxian political economy and (increasingly in the last quarter of a century) in Post Keynesian macroeconomics, especially its Kaleckian variant(s). I see Kalecki as a bridge between Marx and Keynes (which does not mean that he is exempt from criticism, or from the need to be brought and kept up to date)."

 


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