A. W. H. Phillips: Collected Works in Contemporary by Robert Leeson

By Robert Leeson

Almost all of latest macroeconomics is underpinned through a Phillips curve of 1 style or one other, and this quantity collects for the 1st time the key works of 1 of the nice economists. as well as twelve noticeable items, twenty-nine economists together with Lawrence Klein, James Meade, Thomas Sargent, Peter Phillips, David Hendry, William Baumol, Richard Lipsey and Geoffrey Harcourt spotlight and interpret Phillips' ongoing impression. This quantity additionally comprises six of Phillips' formerly unpublished essays, 4 of which have been lengthy inspiration to were misplaced.

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A. W. H. Phillips: Collected Works in Contemporary Perspective

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But our meetings simply meant that I learnt from him an immense amount about things about which I knew nothing. On one occasion, after a general sophisticated discussion in the LSE senior common room, he said to me: `You English puzzle me. ' You never had to `listen between the lines' to Bill's commonsensical arguments. One anecdote shows how directly he was prepared to tackle any problem. He stayed with us one summer in a cottage which contained a broken-down out-of-tune old piano. We moaned what a pity that it was so out of tune that we really could not use it.

It is too horrible, a nightmare to be stopt [sic] anyhow. 26 One of Keynes' biographers concluded that The Economic Consequences of the Peace was `a revolt of economics against politics' (Skidelsky 1983, 302, 399). I suspect that these sentiments may also have been a hidden sub-text in Phillips' work. Notes 1 Phillips' parents, Harold Housego (from Wellington) and Edith (nee Webber) were dairy farmers at `Jersey Meadows' (they bred Jersey cattle); Edith was also a school teacher. Both parents became devout Anglicans and donated some land for the construction of St Alban's Church.

But these chapters do not address my question because they are quite consistent with a merely `gee-whiz' evaluation of the machine as an historical curiosum: an analogue computer running on water, superseded by serious computer models; a model of a (perhaps outdated) Keynesian way of thinking about the economy, of no particular interest to students ± or researchers ± any longer. Instead, I believe that we should think of it as a truly `progressive' economic model in the sense of Kuhn (1962) ± a heuristic device that was of enormous value to 39 40 David Vines Phillips in his thinking about the economy and which can still give acute insights to us.

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