Robert Clower passes away at 85

First mentioned by Brad DeLong, it is now confirmed by Wikipedia.  Here is an obituary, and another from UCLA.  Clower is well known for rethinking the microfoundations of macroeconomics, assigning a primary role to money as a medium of exchange and the double coincidence of wants, liquidity constraints, and emphasizing the coordination problems behind Keynesian economics.  He showed how a lot of Keynesian concepts made microeconomic sense, even without invoking the macro notion of aggregate demand or IS-LM analysis.  He opposed what is now called “hydraulic Keynesianism” and was a wise man for doing so.

He was part of the UCLA department in its glory years and for several years in the early to mid 1980s he was the main editor of the American Economic Review, the flagship journal of the profession.  During those years, he favored and published many unorthodox economists, often disgruntling the more mainstream members of the economics profession.  He was good to me.

Here is Clower on whether economic theory is an inductive science (pdf), and Clower on axiomatics (pdf).  Here is his famous paper with Leijonhufvud on Keynes and coordination (pdf).  Here is his famous paper with Howitt on the microfoundations of monetary theory (pdf).  For a full view of his work, you need to search for both “Robert Clower” and “Robert W. Clower.”


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