John Maynard Keynes

John Maynard Keynes (1883–1946) is the latest in a line of great British
economists who had a profound influence on the discipline of economics.
By common consent, the line starts with Adam Smith (1723–1790), whose
Wealth of Nations (1776) is generally regarded as the founding document of
modern economics. It continues with David Ricardo (1772–1823), whose Principles
of Political Economy (1817) dominated classical economics for much
of the nineteenth century, and, incidentally, provided Karl Marx with one of
his central concepts: the labor theory of value. John Stuart Mill’s (1806–1873)
Principles of Political Economy, published in the same year, 1848, as the Communist
Manifesto by Marx and Engels, became the standard textbook in the
English-speaking world—and beyond—for decades. William Stanley Jevons’s
(1835–1882) Theory of Political Economy (1871) inaugurated the “marginal
revolution,” which replaced, or supplemented, emphasis on cost of production
(supply) as determining value with emphasis on utility (demand). He resolved
the classic diamond-water paradox—diamonds are a luxury, water a necessity,
yet diamonds command a higher price than water—by showing that “marginal
utility”—the utility gained from having one more unit of something—not “total
utility” plays the key role in determining price. Alfred Marshall (1842–1924),
Keynes’s own teacher, guide, and patron, dominated economics in the Englishspeaking
world from the publication of the first edition of his classic, Principles of Economics (1890), to the 1930s……….John Maynard Keynes


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