Samuelson, Keynes and the search for a general theory of economics

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Responding to the claims Keynes made in his “General Theory”, economists debated whether Keynesian economics or classical economics was more general. This paper argues the concept of generality underlying most of this literature differs from that underlying the neoclassical synthesis proposed by Paul Samuelson in “Economics”, and that this in turn differed from the notion of generality found in his “Foundations of Economic Analysis”. No fewer than three ideas of what it means to have a general theory are involved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-153
Number of pages15
JournalItalian Economic Journal
Issue number1
Early online date12 Feb 2015
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015


  • Keynes
  • Samuelson
  • equilibrium
  • neoclassical
  • Synthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • History
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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