Thursday, October 11, 2012

Shackle on Keynes on Equilibrium

An interesting anecdote about Keynes from George L. S. Shackle:
“Keynes spared his readers, even in the deliberately provocative General Theory of 1936, the ultimate force of his conclusion, that rational conduct is an illusion and unrelated to the realities of business. That final smashing of the idol was reserved for his last version of the theory of unemployment, the Quarterly Journal reply to his critics. He nowhere speaks, I believe, of ‘rational conduct’ in those terms. His summary statement, uttered in speech, was ‘Equilibrium is blither.’” (Shackle 1972: 233; see also Shackle 1974: 39).
I am not sure, however, who or what work is the ultimate source for this “equilibrium is blither” saying.


Shackle, G. L. S. 1972. Epistemics and Economics: A Critique of Economic Doctrines, Cambridge University Press, London.

Shackle, G. L. S. 1974. Keynesian Kaleidics: The Evolution of a General Political Economy, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh.


  1. I imagine it being chapter 12 of the GT. Subjective expectations is exactly what destroys equilibrium analysis

  2. Little of topic LK,(or maybee not really?) but a very good lecture By John Christensen Capitulation: the UK government's relationship with the City of London