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Keynes's Changing Conception of Probability

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 December 2008

Bradley W. Bateman
Simmons College


One of the most actively discussed aspects of Keynes's thought during the last decade has been his concern with uncertainty and probability theory. As the concerns of current macroeconomic theorists have turned increasingly to the effects of expectations and uncertainty, interest has grown in the fact that Keynes was the author of A Treatise on Probability (1921) and that uncertainty plays a prominent role in Chapter 12 of The General Theory as well as in three 1937 papers in which he summarized The General Theory's main point. Not surprisingly, though, there has been very little agreement in this recent discussion about exactly what the significance of Keynes's early work in probability was to his later work as an economist, or about what the roles of uncertainty and expectations are in The General Theory.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1987

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