John Eatwell, Baron Eatwell
John Leonard Eatwell, Baron Eatwell (born 2 February 1945) is a British economist and the current President of Queens' College, Cambridge. A former senior advisor to the Labour Party, Lord Eatwell now sits in the House of Lords as a non-affiliated peer.
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"Citizen Keynes", 1994
John Eatwell, "Citizen Keynes", The American Prospect (1994)
- Though he died in 1946, Keynes still dominated economics at Cambridge in the mid-1960s. It wasn't just that all the leading figures among the faculty, Richard Kahn, Joan Robinson, Brian Reddaway, David Champernowne, Nicholas Kaldor, and James Meade, had been his pupils and/or collaborators. It was the tone of the place. The study of economics, theoretical or empirical, was driven by the desire to improve the conduct of economic policy. This did not mean that pure theory was neglected. Indeed, in those years Robinson was fighting a stirring battle in the realms of high theory with Paul Samuelson and Robert Solow from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Nor was Cambridge innocent of the cutting edge of econometric technique. Richard Stone, who, following Keynes's suggestions, had created the first modern national income accounts, was still director of the Department of Applied Economics where much of modern econometrics was pioneered. Nonetheless, we were taught that theory and technique should serve the higher cause of rational economic policies, and to use our newly learned econometric expertise to write essays on unemployment, or inflation, or the balance of trade, or some other topic at the top of the current political agenda.
- Skidelsky tells us, Keynes was also practical, absorbed in questions of economic policy, argumentative, benevolent and intolerant, often rude, and had an intellectual arrogance that would allow positions previously held with great passion to be calmly abandoned. Well, that is exactly what the Cambridge faculty was like in the 1960s. Not only did the ghost of Keynes dominate the content of economics education at Cambridge, it also dominated the style. That style could be sustained with substance only by the extraordinarily gifted. So it is not surprising that the Cambridge faculty, although still very "Keynesian," looks much more conventional these days.