John Maynard Keynes
John Maynard Keynes
John Maynard Keynes at the Bretton Woods Conference
|Died||21 April 1946 (aged 62)|
|Cause of death||Heart attack|
|Education||Eton College and King's College, Cambridge|
|Parent(s)||John Neville Keynes, Florence Ada Brown|
John Maynard Keynes, 1st Baron Keynes, CB (5 June 1883 – 21 April 1946) was a British economist. His ideas, called Keynesian economics, had a big impact on modern economic and political theory. His ideas also had a big impact on many governments' tax and economic policies. He said governments should use tax and banking measures to stop the effects of economic recessions, depressions and booms. He is one of the fathers of modern theoretical macroeconomics.
Biography[change | change source]
Personal and marital life[change | change source]
John Maynard Keynes was born at 7 Melville Road, Cambridge, England. His father was John Neville Keynes, an economics lecturer at Cambridge University. His mother was Florence Ada Brown, a successful author and a social reformer. His younger brother, Geoffrey Keynes (1887–1982) was a surgeon and bibliophile (book lover). His younger sister Margaret (1890–1974) married the Nobel Prize-winning physiologist Archibald Hill.
Keynes first went to King’s College, Cambridge, in 1902. At first he studied mathematics. Later he studied economics under A.C. Pigou and Alfred Marshall. People think Professor Marshall prompted Keynes to change his studies from mathematics and classics to economics. Keynes received his B.A. in 1905 and his M.A. in 1908.
When Keynes was young, he had romantic and sexual relationships with men. One of his great loves was the artist Duncan Grant, whom he met in 1908. Keynes was also involved with the writer Lytton Strachey. Keynes appeared to turn away from homosexual relationships around the time of the first World War. In 1918, he met Lydia Lopokova, a well-known Russian ballerina. Keynes and Lopokova married in 1925.
He enjoyed collecting books: for example, he collected and protected many of Isaac Newton's papers.
Bertrand Russell said Keynes was the most intelligent person he had ever known. Lord Russell said: "Every time I argued with Keynes, I felt that I took my life in my hands, and I seldom emerged without feeling something of a fool."
Career[change | change source]
Keynes accepted a lectureship at Cambridge in economics funded personally by Alfred Marshall. Soon he was appointed to the Royal Commission on Indian Currency and Finance, where he was able to put economic theory into practice.
During World War I he worked for the Adviser to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and to the Treasury on Financial and Economic Questions.
Keynes also attended the Conference on the Versailles Treaty to end World War I. He wrote The Economic Consequences of the Peace in 1919, and A Revision of the Treaty in 1922. In his books he said that the reparations which Germany was being made to pay would ruin the German economy and would lead to further fighting in Europe. These predictions were shown to be true when the German economy suffered in the hyperinflation of 1923. Reparations were only completed in 2010.
Keynes's magnum opus (Latin for "Great Work", meaning his most famous book) was the General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money. The General Theory was published in 1936. The ideas in that book were very different from classical economics.
Historians agree that Keynes influenced U.S. president Roosevelt's New Deal, but disagree as to what extent. Spending more than the government earned in taxes (called deficit spending) was used in the New Deal from 1938. But the idea had been agreed to by President Herbert Hoover. Few senior economists in the U.S. agreed with Keynes in the 1930s. With time, however, his ideas became more widely accepted.
During World War II, Keynes wrote a book titled How to Pay for the War. He said the war effort should be paid for by higher taxes. He did not like deficit spending because he wanted to avoid inflation.
Death[change | change source]
Keynes died of a heart attack at his holiday home in Tilton, East Sussex. His heart problems were made worse by the strain of working on post-war international financial problems. He died soon after he arranged a guarantee of an Anglo-American loan to Great Britain. Keynes' father, John Neville Keynes (1852–1949) outlived his son by three years. Keynes's brother Sir Geoffrey Keynes (1887–1982) was a distinguished surgeon, scholar and bibliophile. His nephews include Richard Keynes (born 1919) a physiologist; and Quentin Keynes (1921–2003) an adventurer and bibliophile. Keynes did not have children.
Bibliography[change | change source]
- 1915 The Economics of War in Germany
- 1919 The Economic Consequences of the Peace
- Essays in Persuasion
- A Treatise On Probability
- Tract on Monetary Reform
- The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money
Influences on Keynes' works[change | change source]
These people influenced Keynes:
- Knut Wicksell
- Arthur C. Pigou
- Alfred Marshall
- Adam Smith
- David Ricardo
- Dennis Robertson
- Karl Marx
- Thomas Malthus
- Michal Kalecki
Related pages[change | change source]
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: John Maynard Keynes|
|Wikisource has original works written by or about:|
John Maynard Keynes
- Keynesian economics or Keynesianism
- Michał Kalecki
- Simon Kuznets
- Paul Samuelson
- John Hicks
- John Kenneth Galbraith
- G.L.S. Shackle
- Silvio Gesell
References[change | change source]
- Martin, Kingsley (16 March 1940). "Mr Keynes Has A Plan". Picture Post. Unknown parameter
- The Economic Consequences of Mr. Keynes: How the Second Industrial Revolution Passed Great Britain By, Bernard C. Beaudreau, iUniverse, 2006, ISBN 0-595-41661-6
- Essays on John Maynard Keynes, Milo Keynes (Editor), Cambridge University Press, 1975, ISBN 0-521-20534-4
- The Life of John Maynard Keynes, R. F. Harrod, London, Macmillan, 1951, ISBN 1-125-39598-2
- "Keynes, John Maynard," Don Patinkin, The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics, v. 2, 1987, pp. 19–41. Macmillan ISBN 0-333-37235-2 (US Edition: ISBN 0-935859-10-1)
- John Maynard Keynes: Hopes Betrayed 1883–1920, Robert Skidelsky, Papermac, 1992, ISBN 0-333-57379-X (US Edition: ISBN 0-14-023554-X)
- John Maynard Keynes: The Economist as Saviour 1920–1937, Robert Skidelsky, Papermac, 1994, ISBN 0-333-58499-6 (US Edition: ISBN 0-14-023806-9)
- The Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy, Daniel Yergin with Joseph Stanislaw, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998, ISBN 0-684-82975-4
- John Maynard Keynes: Fighting for Britain 1937–1946 (published in the United States as Fighting for Freedom), Robert Skidelsky, Papermac, 2001, ISBN 0-333-77971-1 (US Edition: ISBN 0-14-200167-8)
- Lytton Strachey, Michael Holroyd, 1995, ISBN 0-393-32719-1
Other websites[change | change source]
- Bio, bibliography, and links
- Works by John Maynard Keynes at Project Gutenberg
- The Keynesian Revolution
- Bio at Time 100 - the most important people of the century
- John Maynard Keynes, The Economic Consequences of the Peace (1919)
- John Maynard Keynes, The end of laissez-faire (1926)
- John Maynard Keynes, An Open Letter to President Roosevelt (1933)
- John Maynard Keynes, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (1936)
- Eton College Keynes (Economics) Society
- Short bio with birth location
- Escoffier, Jeffrey. "Keynes, John Maynard." In Glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture. glbtq, Inc.: Chicago, 2004.
- Essays on John Maynard Keynes and Robert Lekachman by Reuben L. Norman Jr., Ph.D. ( 1998-2007 )
- Smith, Marx, Kondratieff and Keynes: Their Intellectual Life Spans, the Convergence of their Theories based upon the Long Wave Hypothesis and the Internet by Reuben L. Norman Jr., Ph.D. ( June 6, 1998 )
- Keynes's Career and Biographical Timeline