Should Post-Keynsians Stop Hounding Krugman Now?

Post Keynsians have often critcised Krugman for although he holds in his sites many of the same enemies as Pk’ers do his academics writings and textbooks seem every bit as beholden to neo-classical orthodoxy as Mankiw.

Many of us have noticed a shift in Krugman’s positions over the last couple of years.  Quiggan blogs on this at Crooked Timber

Paul Krugman’s recent columns, responding in various ways to JM Keynes, Michal Kalecki and Mike Konczal have made interesting reading, signalling a marked shift to the left both on economic theory and on issues of political economy

Although Krugman clearly is a progressive I dont see this so much in left-right terms.  After all many of those economists who hold many of the key theoretical views of post Keynesian practice in quant/financial circles in London and are hardly progressives, though they are much closer to the action than those stuck in ivy league ivory towers, and similarity the influence of many Austrian strands are apparent amongst many key PK thinkers.   Rather I like to see it as a paradigmatic theory issue, just as Ricardo and Marx were very similar on the issue of theory but were capable of holding very different political positions.

Krugman notes approvingly of the post and thread.

If Jrugman is moving towards the position that the ‘centreground’ of neoclassicism is untenable, to use quiggans terminology, though all the better.  However Krugman needs to engage particularly on monetary theory.  Even a few months ago Krugman was writing extraordinary posts on how he ‘doesnt get’ what banks had to do with the issue of debt!

’Im all for including the banking sector in stories where it’s relevant; but why is it so crucial to a story about debt and leverage?

And his beloved IS-LM model untenably rests on loanable funds assumption (see my post here).

Certainly we need someone of Krugmans weight to help resolve many of the unresolved theoretical issues, of course we also need to rewrite the textbooks, but until Krugman starts to seriously engage in these issues, rather than to causally dismiss any idea that doesnt emit from the strsterile elie neoclassical realm of academe, he isn’t helping much.



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