James C. W. Ahiakpor
Macroeconomics without the Errors of Keynes
The Quantity Theory of Money, Saving, and Policy
I spoke with James C. W. Ahiakpor, he is Professor Emeritus, Department of Economics, at California State University, East Bay, USA. We discussed his new book Macroeconomics without the Errors of Keynes: The Quantity Theory of Money, Saving, and Policy (Routledge, 2019)–a provocative title for a very original book that is a critique not only of Keynes but also of some of his followers and his scholarly opponents. This is a sophisticated book and an erudite account and analysis of crucial debates in economics over the past 100 years.
I asked what is the origin of the book and why he wrote a book ‘against’ J.M. Keynes. I also asked to locate Keynes and his relationship with classical economists. We then discussed why macroeconomics needs to be restored to its classical roots and what are the distortions that he attributes to Keynes. Finally we spoke about the implications of his book for contemporary economic and monetary policy debates after the great recession.
Professor Ahiakpor argues that modern macroeconomics is in a stalemate, with seven schools of thought attempting to explain the workings of a monetary economy and to derive policies that promote economic growth with price-level stability. He attributes some of those problems to the errors of Keynes and to the reception of his work.
The crucial errors made by Keynes are due to his reading of classical macroeconomics, in particular the classical Quantity Theory and the meaning of saving.
In light of this, we discussed with James Ahiakpor how to solve those misunderstandings to achieve economic policies consistent with the promotion of the employment and economic growth that Keynes was seeking.
This is an advanced book written for scholars of macroeconomics and history of economic thought and of course everybody interested in Keynes, the complexity of his work and possibly some oversights if you will agree with professor Ahiakpor.
Andrea Bernardi is Senior Lecturer in Employment and Organization Studies at Oxford Brookes University in the UK. He holds a doctorate in Organization Theory from the University of Milan, Bicocca. He has held teaching and research positions in Italy, China and the UK. Among his research interests are the use of history in management studies, the co-operative sector, and Chinese co-operatives. His latest project is looking at health care in rural China. He is the co-convener of the EAEPE’s permanent track on Critical Management Studies.