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  • Print publication year: 1991
  • Online publication date: October 2009

Series preface


The Modern Cambridge Economics series, of which this book is one, is designed in the same spirit as and with similar objectives to the series of Cambridge Economic Handbooks launched by Maynard Keynes soon after the First World War. Keynes's series, as he explained in his introduction, was intended ‘to convey to the ordinary reader and to the uninitiated student some conception of the general principles of thought which economists now apply to economic problems’. He went on to describe its authors as, generally speaking, ‘orthodox members of the Cambridge School of Economics’ drawing most of their ideas and prejudices from ‘the two economists who have chiefly influenced Cambridge thought for the past fifty years, Dr Marshall and Professor Pigou’ and as being ‘more anxious to avoid obscure forms of expression than difficult ideas’.

This series of short monographs is also aimed at the intelligent undergraduate and interested general reader, but it differs from Keynes's series in three main ways: first in that it focuses on aspects of economics which have attracted the particular interest of economists in the post Second World War era; second in that its authors, though still sharing a Cambridge tradition of ideas, would regard themselves as deriving their main inspiration from Keynes himself and his immediate successors, rather than from the neoclassical generation of the Cambridge school; and third in that it envisages a wider audience than readers in mature capitalist economies, for it is equally aimed at students in developing countries whose problems and whose interactions with the rest of the world have helped shape the economic issues which have dominated economic thinking in recent decades.