Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Lawrence Klein author of The Keynesian Revolution has passed away

Lawrence R. Klein (1920-2013)

Lawrence Klein, of Klein-Goldberger US econometric model fame, and author of The Keynesian Revolution (here the Google Books link), and winner of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Memory of Alfred Nobel in 1980, has passed away. Klein was a Neoclassical Synthesis Keynesian (often referred to as Old Keynesian now, to distinguish him from the New Keynesians) that made his contribution by developing the empirical applications of the Keynesian model for the US economy.

The seminal work was done in the late 1940s and early 1950s in the context of the Cowles Commission. His book An Econometric Model of the United States, 1929–1952 was further developed in 1955 with his co-author (Arthur Goldberger), published as An Econometric Model of the United States 1929–1952, introduced the celebrated Klein-Goldberger model. The Cowles Commission Model still lives in Ray Fair's macro-econometric model, that maintains essentially the same methodology, resisting to the Lucas critique and the Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium (DSGE) models of the Real Business Cycle School (RBC) and their New Keynesian alternatives.

It must be noted that in Klein's original model, expectations did not play a role, since it was complicated to incorporate those, interest rates did not have an impact on investment (basically adopting an accelerator) and that wealth effects (which allow for the Pigou effect, and the return to full employment) on consumption were also absent. So in a sense his model did differ, because of the need to adapt to economic data, from the theoretical versions of the Neoclassical Synthesis, and was closer to heterodox interpretations of Keynes.

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