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Theoretical and Applied Economics
No. 5 / 2011 (558)

The Crisis of Economic Theory in the Middle of the Economic Crisis

Silvia MĂRGINEAN
“Lucian Blaga” University of Sibiu
Roberta Mihaela STANEF
Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies
Alina Ştefania CREŢU
Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies

Abstract. Keynesian economics has lost much of its effectiveness as a paradigm of world capitalism as a whole, or as a paradigm of individual developed capitalist economies. The decline of the United States as a hegemonic power capable of imposing its will over others has seen to the erosion of the relevance of the Keynesian doctrine on the global scale. The Philips curve and what Hicks calls the “social” pressure on wages have severely restricted the field of Keynesian policy at home – even through the ruling classes continue to use Keynesian theory as their paradigm. The most important lesson from Keynes work may be that the macroeconomist should start from the important problems of the day and should face the following questions: 1) How can we to understand what are is happening right now? 2) What can be done about it? What is the best policy to follow? 3) Do recent events force us to modify what is today widely accepted economic theory? If so, what is wrong and how might we go about arriving at a more satisfying theory? The most important economic problem of today is current financial crisis that started in the United States. What might we learn from Keynesian theory about it? The current situation is almost the opposite of the one that Keynes dealt with in the “General Theory”. Now day’s economics lacks an anchored understanding of the nature of the reality that economics is supposed to illuminate. Instability of leverage, connectivity, and potential instability of the price level have all been neglected in stable – with – fractions macro theory. Technical innovations will not bring real progress as long as “stability – with – fractions” remains the ruling paradigm. Meanwhile, governments are not prepared to face another crisis.

Keywords: economic crisis; Keynesianism; doctrinal crisis; macro policies.

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