Relations with J. M. Keynes

  • S. R. Dennison
  • John R. Presley


When he returned to Cambridge in 1919, to his Fellowship at Trinity and a university lectureship, Robertson worked in close collaboration with Keynes until the early 1930s. This is well-documented, not only that almost everything each of them published contains a tribute to the other, but also in a number of commentaries on their work.1 Perhaps the outstanding case of the former is Banking Policy and the Price Level (1926) in the Preface of which Robertson wrote, ‘I have had so many discussions with Mr J. M. Keynes on the subject matter of chapters V and VI and have rewritten them so drastically at his suggestion, that I think neither of us now knows how much of the ideas therein contained is his and how much is mine’. In turn, Keynes wrote to Robertson on 10 November 1925 that he liked ‘the latest version though God knows it is concise’ and that Chapter V was ‘splendid — most new and important. I think it is substantially right and at last I have no material criticism. It is the kernel and real essence of the book.’ He went on, ‘It will be interesting to see whether anyone, and who, will when it is published see what you are driving at. You will be lucky if you get five understanding readers within two years, after that there will be lots.’ In the first comment Keynes was right, as shown by various reviews, not one of those now available showing any grasp of the argument.2 The second was too optimistic, as for over sixty years many economists have found it very hard going and confessed failure fully to understand.


Price Level Economic Journal Chapter Versus Building Society Banking Policy 
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Copyright information

© Miss Esther C. Robertson 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. R. Dennison
    • 1
  • John R. Presley
    • 2
  1. 1.University of HullUK
  2. 2.Loughborough UniversityUK

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