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Sir Roy Forbes Harrod Biography

(1900–78), General Theory, Towards a Dynamic Economics, Economic Essays, Policy against Inflation

economic keynes policy keynesianism

British economist, born in London, educated at New College, Oxford. From 1923 until his retirement in 1967 he taught at Christ Church, Oxford. Harrod was one of a select group of younger economists from whom Keynes solicited comments on his early drafts of the General Theory (1926), and was among those responsible for the propagation of Keynesianism in main-stream economic and political circles in the post-war world. His main contributions were to the theories of economic growth and imperfect competition. While most of these were published in academic journals, two books contain their results: Towards a Dynamic Economics (1948) and Economic Essays (1952). From the early 1950s Harrod turned more to practical policy matters. Here his books Policy against Inflation (1958), Reforming the World's Money (1965), and Towards a New Economic Policy (1967) stand out for their clarity and practical good sense. Harrod remained an advocate of Keynesianism to the end, despite that doctrine's fall from favour in the early 1970s. However, this adherence to Keynesianism did not lead him to a fixed commitment to any one political party—he advised Labour, stood for Parliament (unsuccessfully) as a Liberal in 1945, and later (with Churchill's help) sought (again unsuccessfully) nomination as a Conservative candidate. He is the author of The Life of John Maynard Keynes (1951), in which his unique and intimate knowledge of Keynes's economics, and of the man himself, combined to produce an intellectual biography of singular economic and literary quality.

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