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John Kenneth Galbraith: a radical economist?

John Kenneth Galbraith: a radical economist? Purpose – The paper seeks to answer the question: why is John Kenneth Galbraith a radical economist? The purpose of this paper is to show how he contributed to the development of economic theory and how this contribution differs radically from mainstream economics. Design/methodology/approach – In concentrating on Galbraith's theory of power – certainly his most radical contribution to economics – the paper begins to provide an overview of his conceptual work. This overview includes Galbraith's theory of consumption, the firm and financial crisis and ends with his vision for the future. To demonstrate the radical nature of Galbraith's frameworks, they are compared to other heterodox economic theories – namely Institutional and Post Keynesian economics and to a number of randomly chosen standard economics textbook. Findings – This comparative and interpretive exercise clearly demonstrates links of Galbraithian with other heterodox economic theories and very little mentioning and uptake of these concepts in widely used economics textbooks. Galbraith's ideas do seem to fit in well with Institutional and Post Keynesian economics, but not with standard economics. Practical implications – Galbraithian economics is a clear example of a set of heterodox economic ideas that can be taught probably best as a separate and alternative framework of analysis to the mainstream. To familiarize students with Galbraith's economics will certainly strengthen their analytical abilities and provide them with radically different and particularly useful insights in this time of financial crisis. Originality/value – The paper demonstrates the explanatory value of Galbraith's economics and the origin of the radical nature of his concepts which lies in his theory of power. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Social Economics Emerald Publishing

John Kenneth Galbraith: a radical economist?

International Journal of Social Economics , Volume 37 (3): 18 – Feb 16, 2010

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0306-8293
DOI
10.1108/03068291011018758
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The paper seeks to answer the question: why is John Kenneth Galbraith a radical economist? The purpose of this paper is to show how he contributed to the development of economic theory and how this contribution differs radically from mainstream economics. Design/methodology/approach – In concentrating on Galbraith's theory of power – certainly his most radical contribution to economics – the paper begins to provide an overview of his conceptual work. This overview includes Galbraith's theory of consumption, the firm and financial crisis and ends with his vision for the future. To demonstrate the radical nature of Galbraith's frameworks, they are compared to other heterodox economic theories – namely Institutional and Post Keynesian economics and to a number of randomly chosen standard economics textbook. Findings – This comparative and interpretive exercise clearly demonstrates links of Galbraithian with other heterodox economic theories and very little mentioning and uptake of these concepts in widely used economics textbooks. Galbraith's ideas do seem to fit in well with Institutional and Post Keynesian economics, but not with standard economics. Practical implications – Galbraithian economics is a clear example of a set of heterodox economic ideas that can be taught probably best as a separate and alternative framework of analysis to the mainstream. To familiarize students with Galbraith's economics will certainly strengthen their analytical abilities and provide them with radically different and particularly useful insights in this time of financial crisis. Originality/value – The paper demonstrates the explanatory value of Galbraith's economics and the origin of the radical nature of his concepts which lies in his theory of power.

Journal

International Journal of Social EconomicsEmerald Publishing

Published: Feb 16, 2010

Keywords: Economics; Consumer behaviour; Economic doctrines; Economic theory

References

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