A. W. H. Phillips: Collected Works in Contemporary by Robert Leeson

By Robert Leeson

Nearly all of latest macroeconomics is underpinned by way of a Phillips curve of 1 style or one other, and this quantity collects for the 1st time the foremost works of 1 of the nice economists. as well as twelve great items, twenty-nine economists together with Lawrence Klein, James Meade, Thomas Sargent, Peter Phillips, David Hendry, William Baumol, Richard Lipsey and Geoffrey Harcourt spotlight and interpret Phillips' ongoing impression. This quantity additionally comprises six of Phillips' formerly unpublished essays, 4 of which have been lengthy inspiration to were misplaced.

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Once in the late 1980s I had the privilege of watching the machine in operation with Meade, and asking him about it as the water was going round. 3 How should we now think of the Phillips Machine? The chapters in part II of this volume make it clear that it was an extraordinarily clever physical device. But these chapters do not address my question because they are quite consistent with a merely `gee-whiz' evaluation of the machine as an historical curiosum: an analogue computer running on water, superseded by serious computer models; a model of a (perhaps outdated) Keynesian way of thinking about the economy, of no particular interest to students ± or researchers ± any longer.

Van der Post (1985, 38±9) commented upon the `remarkable' Chinese in Java who, on the basis of a verbal promise of recompense from the post-war British government, smuggled gilders into the camp, which enabled the prisoners to supplement their diet with fresh fruit and cereals and thus reduce the mortality rate. 23 Keynes (1946, 172), in his last posthumously published article, deplored how much `modernist stuff, gone wrong and turned sour and silly, is circulating'. Hutchison (1977), amongst others, re¯ected how different `Keynesian economics' might have been had Keynes lived longer.

When the machine was ®nished, it was taken to the LSE and demonstrated at the celebrated Lionel Robbins seminar in November 1949. A photograph was taken during that event and reveals Bill's tendency to chain-smoking whenever he was working, thinking about a problem or declaiming (see chapter 11, p. 105). It was as a result of James Meade's The Origins of the Machine 37 enthusiastic response on this occasion that Bill was appointed an assistant lecturer to work on the Mark II version of the machine.

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