490. J. M. Keynes to Harrod , 23 October 1935 [a]

[Replies to a letter not found, follows on from 488 ]

46, Gordon Square, Bloomsbury #

23 October 1935

My dear Roy,

As editor your proposed addition meets my point completely. [1]

Whether I myself am completely convinced I am not perfectly sure. By "increasing affluence" you must mean, presumably, a higher rate of remuneration per hour. [2] It is not obvious to me that people who are remunerated at a higher rate per hour choose to work shorter hours than those who are remunerated at a lower rate; but, as you point out, existing institutions make it a little difficult to bring this to the test of experience. [3] There is also the question of the immediate result of a change in the rate of remuneration as compared with the ultimate result. By the time people have had an opportunity of changing their standard of life as the result of increased remuneration per hour, it still seems to me possible that they may prefer to work longer than before.

However, there is not the least need for you to go into all this. What you have said is perfectly sufficient for your argument.

Yours ever


R.F. Harrod Esq., Christ Church, Oxford.

  1. 1. The original draft of Harrod, "Another Fundamental Objection to Laissez-Faire" ( 1936:4 ), does not survive. The addition referred to is probably the footnote to p. 166.

    2. Harrod, "Another Fundamental Objection to Laissez-Faire" ( 1936:4 ), p. 166.

    3. Harrod, "Another Fundamental Objection to Laissez-Faire" ( 1936:4 ), pp. 167-68.

    1. a. TLI with autograph corrections, two pages on two leaves, in HP II-59. Reproduced by kind permission of the Provost and Scholars, King's College, Cambridge.

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