[OPE-L:5191] Re: if somebody is interested in Minsky

From: Gerald_A_Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@email.msn.com)
Date: Sat Mar 17 2001 - 07:44:53 EST

Then you might also be interested in his short
autobiographical essay entitled "Beginnings"
in J.A. Kregel ed. _Recollections of Eminent
Economists, Volume 1_ (NY, NYU Press, 1989,

Minsky discusses his associations with Lange,
Leontief, faculty at the University of Chicago, 
and others.  Besides Lange, he was influenced
by a number of others who considered themselves
to be socialists. E.g.  while a student he became 
"quite close" to Maynard Kreuger, who was the
Socialist Party candidate for Vice-President 
one year.  He also attended some meetings 
sponsored by the Socialist Party of Chicago
and The Socialist Club at the University of

One meeting of  The Socialist Club was chaired
by Paul Douglas (of Cobb-Douglas production
function fame) at which Angelica Balabanof,
who was then touring the US, gave the main talk. 
After the meeting, Douglas hosted a reception at
his apartment and Lange introduced Minsky to
Abba Lerner.  It seems that Lerner had just
returned from Mexico "where he apparently tried
to convince Trotsky that Marxism needed to be
revised in the light of the new insights due to
Keynes".  (Perhaps we should see  Lerner as
a forerunner to Steve K?). I would have liked to
have been a fly on the wall at that meeting with
Trotsky -- I imagine that the meeting did not go
very well!

Given the extent to which the C-D aggregate
production function was such a major target
in the Cambridege Controversies that came
later, it is interesting to note, as Minsky did,
how Douglas was influenced by Utopians like
Owen and the Webbs.

Anyway this essay makes entertaining reading
as do much of the other essays in this two-
volume collection. Other recollections by
Hicks, Kaldor, Weintraub, Shackle, Tinbergen,
Steindl, Wallich, Triffin, Goodwin, Tsuru,
and Demaria are included in Volume 1. Volume
2 includes recollections by Perroux, Machlup,
Streeten, Georgescu Roegen,  I. Adelman, 
Kindleberger, Rostow, H.P. Brown, Baumol,
Brunner, Giersch, Buchanan, and Malinvaud.
What's particularly nice about these volumes
is the diversity of authors since many heterodox 
economists are included. I guess this shouldn't
be surprising given that the editor was J.A. 

In solidarity, Jerry

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