By G. Fletcher
During this new selection of essays, starting from biography to severe surveys of opinion, the occasions of Robertson's lifestyles and profession, his contributions to economics, the all-important impression of temperament at the improvement of his proposal, his courting with Keynes and the problems in his competition to the Keynesian revolution are thought of.
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Extra info for Dennis Robertson: Essays on His Life and Work
298) When, however, it comes to the question of contribution, Ashton turns decidedly coy. Though, much of what is exciting in its pages is now part of the stock-in-trade of every theorist … It must be left to those familiar with recent writings on fluctuations to estimate the place of the book in the history of doctrine. (Ashton, 1951, p. 298) He compounds the impression of caution by stating his intention, simply to point to the features that made it so arresting when it first appeared, and – paradoxically – to call attention to its conservative, as distinct from its revolutionary tendencies.
In general, his scholarly work lacked the originality of the early years and became more bound up with refinement, amendment and application. The commentary, the survey and the review became more his characteristic modes of expression. His frequently revised Lectures on Economic Principles (1957–9; 1963) record the definitive Robertson position. His public role continued with service on the Royal Commission on Equal Pay (1944–6) and membership of the Cohen Committee on Prices, Productivity and Incomes, the ‘Three Wise Men’ (1957–8).
These related to the causes of the trade cycle which Opinion on the Study 49 in essentials meant ‘rises in costs’ or ‘the depressing effects of successful capital accumulation, operating in a world where the appearance of innovations is discontinuous’. Hicks comments that this doctrine, firmly held through good and evil days, is the very centre of Professor Robertson’s teaching. ; at that time it was grounded more in inductive research than in high-flown theory. That it should have been possible, at that time, to distil such a conclusion out of the welter of facts seems to me proof of almost miraculous insight.
Dennis Robertson: Essays on His Life and Work by G. Fletcher