A Modern Guide to Post-Keynesian Institutional Economics: Charles J. Whalen (ed.), A Modern Guide to Post-Keynesian Institutional Economics, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham (UK), 2022 ISBN: 1800885741

Emilio Carnevali, Giuseppe Fontana

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article reviewpeer-review


In 1935, just before the publication of the ‘General Theory’, John Maynard Keynes told his friend George Bernard Shaw that he was ‘writing a book on economic theory which will largely revolutionize (p. 493) the way the world thinks about economic problems’ (Keynes, 1935). However, for Keynes not all the ideas of every economist deserved to be turned upside down. A few years earlier, Keynes wrote a letter to Professor John R. Commons where he declared: ‘There seems to me to be no other economist with whose general way of thinking I feel myself in such genuine accord’ (Keynes, 1927, 40744064).

Keynes and Commons shared a view where (i) markets are not self-adjusting, (ii) history and institutions matter in an uncertain world, and (iii) direct or indirect public action is therefore necessary. This shared view inspired the work of many economists including John Kenneth Galbraith, Alfred Eichner, and Hyman Minsky. For instance, upon receiving the Veblen-Commons Award by the Association for Evolutionary Economics, Minsky opened his remarks with the same quotation from Keynes’ letter. ‘This affinity is as relevant now as it was when Keynes wrote to Commons. The current crisis of performance and confidence in the rich capitalist countries makes it necessary, once again, to think about the institutional prerequisites for successful capitalism’ (Minsky, 1996, p. 357).
Original languageEnglish
Article numberbzad015
Pages (from-to)263-266
Number of pages4
JournalContributions to Political Economy
Issue number1
Early online date15 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2023

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