Addenda, debates, reflections etc. stimulated by the Harrod papers and correspondence


On Plumptre's missing paper on liquidity preference


Following a query posted back in 1998 to the HES mailing list requesting information (which nobody was able to supply) on Plumptre's missing paper on cited by Robertson on various occasions (including a letter to Harrod dated 9 November 1936 -- see note 10 to that letter for further references), Hugh Grant (University of Winnipeg) writes:

There is an interesting footnote in Mabel Timlin's "Keynesian Economics" (Toronto, 1942), p. 8. She follows Lange in providing a 4-equation representation of Keynes's GT but, replaces

M = L(i,Y)


i = L(M,Y) (1)


Y I + C


Y = I + C (2)


Her footnote reads:

"The change made above was suggested for mathematical reasons by Professor A.W.F. Plumptre. It is to be noticed that on p. 245, General Theory, Mr. Keynes describes the rate of interest as one the the independent variables of the system. On p. 246, however, he describes the rate of interest as dependent 'partly of the state of liquidity preference (i.e. on the liquidity function) and partly on the quantity of money measured in terms of wage-units.' Equation (1) above conforms to this descrition. It is to be noted that Mr. Keynes's own formulation puts the quantity of money in the position of the dependent variable, just as Dr. Lange's does. See General Theory, p. 199. [...]

With reference to Mr. Keynes's approval of Dr. Lange's 'general system' as an analysis of his own, see 'On Mr. Keynes and Finance' (Comment on), Economic Journal XLVIII (1938), p. 321n."


Perhaps this was Plumptre's starting point for his criticism of Keynes?



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