315. Joan Robinson to Harrod , 19 August [1933] [a]

[Replies to 313 ]

3, Trumpington Street, Cambridge #

19 August [1933]

My dear Roy

How nice of you to write me such a nice letter. It must be very hard work reading my book. I feel very grateful to anyone who manages to get thro' it.

Did you know that James Meade had done exactly the same hump-shaped curves as in my chapter 21.? [1] Another of these famous coincidences.

It would be fun to see the original M[arginal]. R[evenue]. article if you preserved it and your correspondence with Frank Ramsey. Do dig it out sometime & send it along. [2]

I shall be very much interested to read your views on Chamberlin [3] (it was the printer being too clever by ). I thought there were some very good ideas in it, but a bit patchy. I expect you noticed that there are at least three fundamental objections of his duopoly solution.

I wrote a very snappy reply to your last note to the E. J. which I suppose will appear in September. [4] I hope you won't be annoyed by it. I can't remember now what I put. I hope to go into the "two levels" business in a paper which I am to read in Oxford next term. [5]

Once more--thanks for your letter



  1. 1. J. E. Meade, in The Rate of Interest in a Progressive State (1933), on pp. 38-43 represented the average and marginal rates of net profit as a function of units of fixed capital, while J. V. Robinson, in chapter 21 of her Economics of Imperfect Competition (1933), represented on a diagram average and marginal productivities per man employed. Harrod later pointed out to Meade that the diagram presupposed imperfect competition: see letter 325 , [jump to page] .

    2. The relevant correspondence is cited in note 2 to letter 311 .

    3. Harrod, "Theory of Monopolistic Competition" ( 1933:8 ).

    4. J. V. Robinson, "Decreasing Costs: A Reply to Mr. Harrod", Economic Journal XLIII, September 1933, pp. 531-32. Harrod's article is "A Further Note on Decreasing Costs" ( 1933:7 ).

    5. Joan Robinson probably referred to the maximum and minimum levels of profits entailed by her definition of "normal profits" which was the topic of the articles cited in note 4 to this letter and of the exchange here reproduced as letters 295 , 296 , 297 , 298 , 299 . The matter was later discussed in her contribution on "What is Perfect Competition?", Quarterly Journal of Economics XLIX, November 1934, in particular pp. 108-09; it is not clear whether or not this paper was read in Oxford.

    1. a. ALS, four pages on a single folded sheet, in HP IV-1089-1107. Reproduced by kind permission of the Provost and Scholars, King's College, Cambridge.

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