Keynes and Friedman on Laissez-Faire and Planning
‘Where to draw the line?’
By Sylvie Rivot
Routledge – 2013 – 190 pages
The 2008 crisis has revived debates on the relevance of laissez-faire, and thus on the role of the State in a modern economy. This volume offers a new exploration of the writings of Keynes and Friedman on this topic, highlighting not only the clear points of opposition between them, but also the places in which their concerns where shared.
This volume argues that the parallel currently made with the 1929 financial crisis and the way the latter turned into the Great Depression sheds new light on the proper economic policy to be conducted in both the short- and the long-run in a monetary economy. In light of the recent revival in appreciation for Keynes’ ideas, Rivot investigates what both Keynes and Friedman had to say on key issues, including their respective interpretations of both the 1929 crisis and the Great Depression, their advocacy of the proper employment policy, and the theoretical underpinnings of the latter. The book asks which lessons should be learnt from the Thirties? And what is the relevance of Keynes’ and Friedman’s respective pleas for today?
'Rivot's book is a timely and stimulating contribution to debates about fiscal and monetary politcies in advancing capitalist economies that marshals a deep, if not uncontroversial, understanding of two giants of economic policy-making to inform future policy debates. This is very welcome and very useful.' - Stephanie Blankenburg, Department of Economics, School of African and Asian Studies, University of London, UK
1. Introduction 2. Keeping the Keynesians off-stage 3. Private, public and semi-private institutions 4. The employment policy 5. The functioning of a monetary economy 6. Where to draw the line between laissez-faire and planning?
Sylvie Rivot is Assistant Professor at BETA-Theme, University of Strasbourg, France.