Ethics and Uncertainty: The Economics of John M. Keynes and Frank H. Knight (Elgar Monographs)

Ethics and Uncertainty: The Economics of John M. Keynes and Frank H. Knight (Elgar Monographs)

ISBN: 9781840644456
Publisher: Edward Elgar Pub
Publication Date: 2001-01
Number of pages: 160
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Despite their common emphasis upon uncertainty as a key economic variable, Frank Knight and John Maynard Keynes viewed its role from different ethical perspectives. These attitudes were derived from contrasting formative influences and differing views regarding the role of economic theory as applied to the real world. William Greer reveals that the intellectual atmosphere into which Keynes was born led him to consider individual and collective action positively, enabling policymakers to take purposeful, deliberate action, in the face of an uncertain, non-ergodic future. The conservative, theological era from which Knight emerged left him accepting of a predetermined, ergodic world in which the government should assume a minimal role in ensuring the smooth operation of a system of otherwise free markets. Ethics and Uncertainty explores how two economists, who both placed 'uncertainty' at the heart of their economic theories, come to drastically different and opposing policy recommendations. The volume illustrates that the important lesson to learn from both Knight and Keynes is that ethics and the desire to improve mankind should be the focus of economic enquiry. This fascinating volume will be essential reading for followers of Keynes and Knight. The book will also be welcomed by scholars in the field of economic thought, and those interested in the development of modern macroeconomics and microeconomics.

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