Keynesian and Marxian Macroeconomics: ¿Toward a Synthesis?



G. Duménil, D. Lévy

In the wake of World War II, Keynes’ analysis contributed to the definition of the new social compromise (including its macro and welfare components). Within this favorable political context, a “Keynesian school”, in the broad sense, prospered. After the establishment of neoliberalism in the 1980s, despite the overall repression of economists critical of the new social order, major figures of the past such as Michal Kalecki, Joan Robinson, or Hyman Minsky, and the contemporary postKeynesian school still attract much interest among the minority of economists politically leaning to the Left. The relationship between Keynesian and Marxian economics has always been ambiguous, but there is a lot in common concerning the macroeconomics.

During the last few decades, one of the fields of our research has been the analysis of business-cycle fluctuations, theory and empirics. We understood that Marx’s perspective on this issue was “macroeconomic” as expressed in the phrase “crises of general overproduction”-“general” being here the term to be emphasized as opposed to “disproportions”. On such grounds, the encounter with Keynes was unescapable. The object of the present study is the investigation of these common Marxian-Keynesian grounds. The final ambition is the interpretation of business-cycle fluctuations within sophisticated capitalist economies (after the establishment of central banks, and the conduct of macro policies).


G. Duménil, D. Lévy, “Keynesian and Marxian macroeconomics: Toward a synthesis“, 2011, Paris-Jourdan Sciences Économiques : Paris.

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