Keynes, Sraffa and the Emergence of the General Theory

Roy Grieve

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This paper considers the question of whether Sraffa had any significant influence on Keynes’s thinking in the period of preparation of The General Theory. Questioning the negative view expressed by Pasinetti (2007), we suggest there is a strong possibility that Sraffa, in introducing the idea that there exist as many ‘natural’ rates of interest as there are commodities which can be lent or borrowed, was instrumental in pointing Keynes to a way of escape from the traditional ‘productivity and thrift’ conception of the rate of interest; this new line of thought Keynes developed into the liquidity preference explanation of interest on money.
Original languageEnglish
JournalReview of Political Economy
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2012


  • Keynes
  • Sraffa
  • economics
  • general theory

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