The Economist Who Mistook His Model for a Market With Professor Roy Rotheim

Joint Event with the Cambridge Society for Economic Pluralism
Wednesday 13th November 2013 at 5:00pm

Little Hall, Sidgwick Site

Professor RotheimThe Marshall Society is pleased to announce the details of its first collaboration with the Cambridge Society for Economic Pluralism. Professor Roy Rotheim will be presenting his latest paper, which you can view here.

Roy J. Rotheim is a professor at the Department of Economics, Skidmore College, New York. He Holds the Quadrucci Chair in Social Responsibility. His main areas of research lie in post-Keynesian economic theory, economic methodology, and the history of economic thought. Professor Rotheim has published one book (New Keynesian Economics/Post Keynesian Alternatives), and over two dozen articles. He is a visiting scholar in the faculty of economics and politics of Cambridge University, and visiting professor at the University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’,


If ever there were a compelling case for Post Keynesian economics in both theory and policy it would be now in light of the anaemic recovery in the global recession of 2007-2009 and the levels of high unemployment that have persisted long after we passed out of that recession.

Interventionist policies during that recession were, however, too late and too little hampered by an antipathy among policy makers toward such policies. At one level removed there was also a corresponding economic mainstream view based on closed system thinking — predicated on theimpossibility of economic fluctuations for the economy as a whole — that admitted to no theoretical basis for lending support to these policies.

In the place of expansionary fiscal and monetary policies that were put into force we are now seeing a call for the return to economic growth by the traditional policies of fiscal austerity and monetary restraint. The persistently high and prolonged unemployment world-wide is deemed to be structural, not remediable by interventionist monetary or fiscal policies.

Post Keynesian concerns about failures of effective demand in an open-system framework, involuntary unemployment (beyond the control of the atomistic individual of the mainstream), large and growing inequalities in income and wealth (abhorrent in their own right and a significant cause of the paucity of aggregate demand), and a preponderance of speculation and financial circulation over enterprise and industrial circulation are no longer taken seriously (if they ever were).

In his latest paper Professor Rotheim focuses on points that address why mainstream economics has built an impenetrable wall around itself such that they cannot envision, let alone take seriously, any alternative economic perspective beyond their own. He takes these conceptualisations to focus on the question of unemployment as it is perceived by the mainstream.


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