Contemporary Post Keynesian Analysis, edited by L. Randall Wray and Mathew Forstater. Cheltenham, U.K.: Edward Elgar Press. 2004. Cloth, ISBN 1843764601. $135.00. 356 pages.
This volume has a history, and it is important to understand its history to appreciate the essays in the volume. In the 1980s in the city of Trieste, Italy, a two-week annual Post Keynesian workshop was organized by Sergio Parrinello, Pierangelo Garegnani, and Jan Kregel during the month of August. The purpose of the annual workshop was to provide an international gathering of Post Keynesians and fellow travelers with the primary goal of introducing graduate students and young professors to Post Keynesian economics. During the mid 1980s tensions between the more traditional Keynesians and Sraffians became apparent, leading to a level of antagonism that spread into the sessions. This along with the difficulty of getting finance to support the workshop led to the end of the Trieste workshops. In 1988, under the direction of Paul Davidson, a second phase of the workshops began, this time in Knoxville, Tennessee. The tensions between the Sraffians and traditional Keynesians that plagued Trieste were not as apparent in Knoxville, but the program did seem to represent more of the issues that traditional Post Keynesians were interested in. With the retirement of Paul Davidson and again the difficulty of financing the summer school, the second phase of these workshops had its last conference in 2000. The third phase, which this volume represents, started in 2002 at the University of Missouri at Kansas City with the financial support of the Center for Full Employment and Price Stability, which is also housed at the University of Missouri.
Starting with the Knoxville workshops Edward Elgar traditionally has published a volume of the very best papers from each of the conferences. This volume continues that tradition with the very best papers from the first Post Keynesian conference at the University of Missouri.
The chapters of this volume are broken into six sections: In the first section, "Post Keynesian Perspectives on Current Economic Policy," we have the first chapter, written by Eckhard Hein, who takes a well-known Post Keynesian view that inflation is not a monetary issue but a conflict over distribution in the private sector. The second chapter, by Hassan Bourgrine, also looks at distribution but by focusing on the relationship between equal opportunity and economic...