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date: 25 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The age of formal mathematics, proving the existence of nonconstructible, noncomputable, undecidable entities in economics, may, in the fullness of time, come to be seen as having occupied an insignificant, sorry period in the grand development of economic theory that was initiated by the classical economists and nobly preserved and enhanced by the development of macroeconomics at the hands of the Swedes and John Maynard Keynes. This chapter attempts to extract precepts from the rich traditions of the many strands of post-Keynesian economics for the modeling of a post-Keynesian theory of aggregate fluctuations. The approach follows the idea of a “constructive engagement with mainstream economics” suggested in persuasive ways by Giuseppe Fontana in several of his writings. The chapter first summarizes the way the classics of nonlinear, nonstochastic, endogenous theories of the business cycle—incorporating, naturally, also growth—satisfy many of the post-Keynesian precepts. It then looks at Hyman Minsky’s approach to modeling economic crisis.

Keywords: business cycle, Giuseppe Fontana, post-Keynesian economics, John Maynard Keynes, Hyman Minsky, economic crisis, aggregate fluctuations, mainstream economics

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