A Progressive Macro Text Book

John Weeks
The Irreconcilable Inconsistencies of Neoclassical Macroeconomics (New
York: Routledge, 2012) ISBN 978-0-415-68002-6

With endorsements by Geoff Harcourt, Robert Pollin, Ann Pettifor and
HaJoon Chang.

This book is a complement to a standard neoclassical textbook on undergraduate macroeconomics; to serve as an analytical antidote to the neoclassical infection. Much of the presentation runs roughly parallel to such a textbook.  The emphasis is different and the reader will find critiques that few undergraduate or graduate students would encounter in their careers, though these featured in textbooks prior to the 1980s. The intention is to make these critiques as understandable and directly applicable to the orthodox model presented at the advanced undergraduate level. Written for students, the book
critiques neoclassical macroeconomics as it is taught, and the reader will find many references to standard macroeconomic textbooks past and current.

This book is inspired by two convictions. The first is that almost all textbooks in undergraduate courses have theoretical errors and misrepresentations of considerable significance. These errors and misrepresentations are not wholly accidental, and have strong ideological implications. The second conviction is more fundamental.
The strictly “macro” aspects of the theories of both Marx and Keynes have slipped from sight. Each the foremost theorist of his century, both men inspired schools that claim the heritage of the master; but what made the analysis macroeconomic in both cases has largely been abandoned. In the course of this book it is argued that the loss of what is essentially “macro” in Keynes is the result of a preference for a form of equilibrium analysis that gives unqualified support to the ideology of free markets. In the case of Marx, his theory of exploitation and from this the stress on class struggle, led to an almost complete neglect of his contribution to the analysis of the
aggregate demand and supply of commodities.


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