Keynes, Hobson, Marx


  • Robert Slidelsky



economic crisis, uncertainty, institutional economics, under-consumption


The work compares the relative strenghts of the Keynesian tradition, in understanding the current crisis, with those of two non-Keynesian traditions represented by Hobson and Marx. Fundamental to Keynes are the concepts of uncertainty and under-employment equilibrium. From Hobson we get an understanding of how inequality of wealth and income makes crisis more likely and recovery more difficult. From Marx we get an explanation of why inequality of wealth and income is inherent in an unmodified capitalist system. We need to put together the three accounts in order to achieve a fuller understanding of the events through which we have recently been living. Text of a speech given at the Post-Keynesian conference ‘Reclaiming the Keynesian Revolution’ in Kansas City.


JEL Codes: H12, B25, B52


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HOBSON J.A. (1902), Imperialism: A Study, New York: James Pott and Co.

HOBSON J.A. and MUMMERY A.F. (1889), The Physiology of Industry: Being an Exposure of Certain Fallacies in Existing Theories of Economics, London: J. Murray.

KEYNES J.M. (1930), “Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren”, in (id.), Essays in Persuasion, reprinted in Keynes (1971-1989), vol. IX.

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KEYNES J.M. (1971-1989), The Collected Writings of John Maynard Keynes, edited by D.E. Moggridge, vols I-XXX, London: Macmillan.

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How to Cite

Slidelsky, R. (2013). Keynes, Hobson, Marx. PSL Quarterly Review, 66(264).