First published in 1936, John Maynard Keynes’s General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money didn’t become influential until after World War II, when a simplified and attenuated version entered the profession. Keynes’s complex, difficult, and often obscure analysis eventually took hold because it gave many economists just what they were looking for: a theoretical rationale for major government intervention to remedy what they regarded as the unreliability of market systems to avoid or recover quickly from recessions.

William N. Butos is a Professor of Economics at Trinity College.
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Other Independent Review articles by William N. Butos
Fall 2015 Causes and Consequences of the Climate Science Boom
Fall 2011 The Doomsday Lobby: Hype and Panic from Sputniks, Martians, and Marauding Meteors
Fall 2006 Government and Science: A Dangerous Liaison?