843. Harrod to K. Sisam , 26 September 1938 [a]

[Replies to 841 R; the exchange continues at 872 R]

Christ Church, Oxford #

26 September 1938

Dear Sisam

It seems rather irrelevant now to discuss these matters, but I suppose that if there is no war term wont be any less busy for there having been a crisis.

I quite agree that the articles should not be regarded as sacred texts and I should want to drop sections which seem unsatisfactory or unimportant. But I am rather in favour of not intervening too much with the original composition for fear of losing freshness and not gaining enough to compensate.

From the selling point of view I think there is a double pull. On the one hand the unpublished articles would develope a theme which is of current interest to economists--the economic theory of [b] growth. My having something to say on that subject will be advertised by a compressed and fairly provocative article on it shortly to appear. [1] On the other hand of the old articles both the one on Keynes and the one on imperfect competition [2] appeared outside England and offprints of them have been much in demand. A good many economists would like to have the text and might be prepared to buy if they knew they would get something new as well.

The book would be divided into 3 main blocks of articles. One concerns method, the other the economics of growth and the third the economics of imperfect competition. They have this in common that they are all feeling out towards new developments of economic theory.

I thought at first for a title of "Towards a new economics," but I dont quite like this because it suggests something too subversive, namely a scrapping of the old, which is not at all my intention. What do you think of "Beyond the traditional economics"? [3]

I thought of publication next spring. [4]

Yours

Roy Harrod

  1. 1. Harrod, "An Essay in Dynamic Theory" ( 1939:7 ).

    2. Harrod, "Mr. Keynes and Traditional Theory" ( 1937:4 ) and "Doctrines of Imperfect Competition" ( 1934:3 ), respectively.

    3. Harrod later described the proposed volume as follows:

    • Before the war I had begun work on a book designed to bring together certain recent developments in theory in which I had been interested (imperfect competition, trade cycle, foreign trade) and to assess the degree of novelty and importance of these doctrines against the background of, say, Marshall's Principles. [Application for the Drummond Chair, circa 1943, in HPBL Add. 72775/32-35.]

    4. Sisam wrote that he was in favor of the plan of the new book and liked the proposed title (letter to Harrod, 27 September 1938, in HP IV/B/A-3; Cc in OUP, CPED 001173).

    1. a. ALS, three pages on two leaves, in OUP, CPED001173

      b. Ms: «theory growth».


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