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Geoff Harcourt

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Geoff Harcourt

Geoff Harcourt
Post-Keynesian economics
Born 27 June 1931
Nationality Australian

Geoffrey (Geoff) Colin Harcourt (27 June 1931) is an Australian academic economist, who studied at the University of Melbourne and then at the King's College, Cambridge. He is a leading member of the Post Keynesian school.


After studying economics at the University of Melbourne he moved to the University of Cambridge where he received his doctorate. In 1958 he moved to the University of Adelaide as a lecturer and was appointed to a chair in Economics at Adelaide in 1967. (He was a University Lecturer at Cambridge and a Fellow of Trinity Hall 1964–96, on leave without pay from Adelaide). He was a University Lecturer (1982–90) and Reader (1990–98) in the Faculty of Economics at Cambridge and a Fellow and College Lecturer in Economics, Jesus College, Cambridge 1982–1998 and was President of Jesus College Cambridge, 1988–89 and 1990–92.

He has made major contributions to the understanding of the ideas of Keynes, Joan Robinson and other Cambridge economists. He has also made important contributions in his own right to Post Keynesian and post Kaleckian theory. A review article[2] of one his volumes of 'Selected Essays' argues that (i) insofar as he has written on capital theory, it has been as an innovator and not as a mere raconteur, and (ii) that he has developed his own suite of post-Keynesian models – this is evident for example in his 1965 paper “A two-sector model of the distribution of income and the level of employment in the short-run” which is reprinted in The Social Science Imperialists: Selected Essays of G.C. Harcourt.

He is married to Joan Harcourt, and his son Tim Harcourt is also an economist.[3]

Major publications

  • Nine Volumes of Selected Essays.
  • Joan Robinson. London: Palgrave Macmillan (Great Thinkers in Economics Series), 2009 (with Prue Kerr).
  • The Structure of Post-Keynesian Economics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
  • 50 Years a Keynesian and Other Essays. London: Palgrave, 2001.
  • Selected Essays on Economic Policy, London: Palgrave, 2001
  • A 'Second Edition' of The General Theory (2 vols). London: Routledge, 1997 (edited with Peter Riach).
  • Capitalism, Socialism and Post-Keynesianism. Selected Essays of G.C. Harcourt. Cheltenham, Glos: Edward Elgar, 1995.
  • Post-Keynesian Essays in Biography: Portraits of Twentieth Century Political Economists. Basingstoke, Hants: Macmillan, 1993.
  • The Social Science Imperialists: Selected Essays. London: Routledge, 1982.
  • Some Cambridge Controversies in the Theory of Capital. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1972.
  • Readings in the Concept and Measurement of Income. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1969.
  • Economic Activity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1967.


  • (With Duncan Ironmonger), 'Pilot Survey of Personal Savings', Economic Record. Vol.32, May 1956, pp. 106–18
  • 'A Critique of Mr. Kaldor's Model of Income Distribution and Economic Growth', Australian Economic Papers, June 1963, pp. 20–36
  • 'The Accountant in a Golden Age', Oxford Economic Papers. Vol.17, March 1965, pp. 66–80. (Reprinted in R.H. Parker and G.C. Harcourt (eds.), Readings in the Concept and Measurement of Income (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1969, pp. 310–25)
  • 'A Two-Sector Model of the Distribution of Income and the Level of Employment in the Short Run', Economic Record. Vol.41, March 1965, pp. 103–17
  • 'Biases in Empirical Estimates of the Elasticities of Substitution of C.E.S. Production Functions', Review of Economic Studies. Vol.33, July 1966, pp. 227–33
  • 'Investment-Decision Criteria, Investment Incentives and the Choice of Technique', Economic Journal. Vol.78, March 1968, pp. 77–95
  • 'Some Cambridge Controversies in the Theory of Capital', Journal of Economic Literature. Vol.7, June 1969, pp. 369–405. Reprinted in Italian in G. Nardozzi and V.Valli (eds.), Teori Dello Sviluppo Economico (Etas Kompass, 1971)
  • 'Decline and Rise: The Revival of (Classical) Political Economy', Economic Record. Vol.51, September 1975, pp. 339–56
  • 'The Cambridge Controversies: Old Ways and New Horizons – or Dead End?', Oxford Economic Papers. Vol.28, March 1976, pp. 25–65

(With Peter Kenyon), 'Pricing and the Investment Decision', Kyklos, 29, Fasc. 3. Vol.29, 1976, pp. 449–77

  • 'Eric Russell, 1921–77: A Great Australian Political Economist' (The 1977 Newcastle Lecture in Political Economy) Research Report No 36, pp.iii + 26)
  • 'The Social Science Imperialists', (The 1978 Academy Lecture, November 1978), Politics. Vol.14, November 1979, pp. 243–51)
  • 'Marshall, Sraffa and Keynes: Incompatible Bedfellows?' Eastern Economic Journal. Vol.5, January 1981, pp. 39–50
  • 'Reflections on the Development of Economics as a Discipline' (The 1982 G.L. Wood Memorial Lecture, June 1982), published in History of Political Economy. Vol.16, 1984, pp. 489–517
  • 'Making Socialism in Your Own Country' (The 1982 John Curtin Memorial Lecture, August 1982), pp. 28
  • 'Post Keynesianism: Quite Wrong and/or Nothing New?', Thames Papers in Political Economy, Summer 1982, pp. 1–19, Reprinted as chapter 6 in Philip Arestis and Thanos Skouras (eds.). *Post Keynesian Economic Theory: A Challenge to Neo-Classical Economics, (Brighton: Wheatsheaf Books, 1985)
  • 'The Influence of Piero Sraffa on the Contributions of Joan Robinson to Economic Theory', Supplement to the Economic Journal, Vol.96, 1986, pp. 96–108

(With O.F. Hamouda), 'Post Keynesianism: From Criticism to Coherence?' Bulletin of Economic Research. Vol.40, January 1988, pp. 1–33.

  • 'Nicholas Kaldor, 12 May 1908 – 30 September 1986', Economica, 55, May 1988, pp. 159–70
  • 'Marshall's Principles as seen at Cambridge through the eyes of Gerald Shove, Dennis Robertson and Joan Robinson', in Marco Dardi, Mauro Gallegati and Enzo Pesciarelli (eds.), Alfred Marshall's Principles of Economics, 1890–1990, Vol. I, Quaderni di storia dell'economia politica. Vol. 9, 1991, pp. 355–72
  • 'Markets, Madness and a Middle Way', The Second Annual Donald Horne Address, Melbourne, 1992, also published in Australian Quarterly, Vol.64, No. 1, pp. 1–17 and, in a revised version, in 'Viewpoint', The Cambridge Review, Vol.114, No.2320, February 1993, pp. 40–45
  • 'Kahn and Keynes and the Making of The General Theory', Cambridge Journal of Economics, Vol. 17, February 1994, pp. 11–23
  • (with J.A.T.R. Araujo), 'Maurice Dobb, Joan Robinson and Gerald Shove on Accumulation and the Rate of Profits', Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 15, Spring, 1993, pp. 1–30, Revised version 'Accumulation and the Rate of Profits: Reflections on the issues raised in the correspondence between Maurice Dobb, Joan Robinson and Gerald Shove' in G.C. Harcourt, Capitalism, Socialism and Post-Keynesianism. Selected Essays of G.C. Harcourt Aldershot, Hants; Edward Elgar, 1995, pp. 79–106
  • 'Krishna Bharadwaj, 21 August 1935 – 8 March 1992: A Memoir', Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Winter 1993/94, Vol. 16, No. 2, pp. 299–311
  • 'Taming Speculators and Putting the World on Course to Prosperity: A 'Modest Proposal', Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XXIX, 17 September 1994, pp. 2490–2492
  • 'Joan Robinson, 1903–1983', Economic Journal, Vol. 105, September 1995, pp. 1228–1243. French version in Joan Robinson Hérésies Economiques Innovations: Cahiers d'economie de l'innovation, L'Harmattan 2001/2, pp. 9–32
  • 'Lorie Tarshis, 1911–1993: In Appreciation', Economic Journal, Vol. 105, September 1995, pp. 1244–1255
  • 'University Ideals and the Market', The Third Halford Cook Memorial Lecture, Queens' College, University of Melbourne, May 1996, pp. 1–11. Revised version, The Cambridge Review, Vol. 117, November 1996, pp. 35–39. Also in Journal of Economic and Social Policy, Vol. 3, 1998, pp. 28–35
  • 'Economic Theory and Economic Policy: Two Views' (The Seventh Colin Clark Memorial Lecture) in Joanilio Rodolpho Teixeira (ed.), Issues in Modern Political Economy, (University of Brasilia, 1997), pp. 15–47. Also in Economic Analysis and Policy, Vol. 27, September 1997, pp. 113–30.
  • 'Edward Austin Gossage Robinson 1897–1993', Proceedings of the British Academy, Vol. 94, 1997, pp. 707–731
  • 'Two Views on Development: Austin and Joan Robinson', Cambridge Journal of Economics, Vol.22, May, 1998, pp. 367–77
  • 'Political Economy, Politics and Religion: Intertwined and Indissoluble Passions', The American Economist, Vol. 42, Fall, 1998, pp. 3–18. Reprinted in Michael Szenberg and Lall Ramratten (eds), Reflections of Eminent Economists, Cheltenham, UK, Northampton, MA, USA 2004, Edward Elgar, pp. 251–74
  • (with Avi. J. Cohen), 'Whatever Happened to the Cambridge Capital Theory Controversies?', Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 17, No. 1, Winter 2003, pp. 199–214
  • 'The rise and, hopefully, the fall of economic neo-liberalism in theory and practice', The Economic and Labour Relations Review, vol 20, December 2009, pp. 1–6
  • 'The crisis in mainstream economics', Real-World Economic Review, issue 53, 201, 47–51


  • (With Vincent G. Massaro), 'A Note on Mr. Sraffa's Sub-Systems', Economic Journal. Vol.74, September 1964, pp. 715–22. (Reprinted in French in Gilbert, Farcarello and Phillipe de Cavergne (eds.) Une nouvelle approche en économie politique? essais sur Sraffa, (Paris: Economica 1977), pp. 53–61)
  • (with Paul Dalziel) 'A Note on `Mr Meade's Relation' and International Capital Movements', Cambridge Journal of Economics, Vol.21, September 1997, pp.621–31
  • "A revolution yet to be accomplished: reviewing Luigi Pasinetti, Keynes and the Cambridge Keynesians, 2007", History of Economic Ideas, XVII, 2009, 203–20

Chapters in books

  • 'Robinson, Joan', in David L. Sills (ed.) International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, Biographical Supplement, Vol. 18, (New York: The Free Press, 1979, pp. 663–71)
  • (With P.M. Kerr), 'The Mixed Economy', Chapter 14 in Jane North and Pat Weller (eds.), Labor, (Sydney: Ian Novak, 1980), pp. 184–95
  • 'The Sraffian Contribution: An Evaluation', in Ian Bradley and Michael Howard (eds.), Classical and Marxian Political Economy: Essays in Honour of Ronald L. Meek (London: Macmillan, 1982), pp. 255–75
  • (With T.J. O'Shaughnessy), 'Keynes's Unemployment Equilibrium: Some Insights from Joan Robinson, Piero Sraffa and Richard Kahn', in G.C. Harcourt (ed.), Keynes and his Contemporaries. The Sixth and Centennial Keynes Seminar held at the University of Kent at Canterbury 1983, (London: Macmillan, 1985), pp. 3–41
  • 'Theoretical Methods and Unfinished Business' in David A. Reese (ed.). The Legacy of Keynes, Nobel Conference XXII, (San Francisco, Harper and Row 1987), pp. 1–22. (also in Portuguese 'O Legado de Keynes: Metodos Teoricos e Assustos Incabados', Ch.IV of Edward J. Amedeo (ed.). John M. Keynes: Cinquenta ano da Teoria Geral Rio de Janeiro : INPES/IPEA, 1989, pp. 45–62. A shorter version is reprinted as 'On Keynes's Method in Economic Theory' in Mario Sabastiani (ed.), The Notion of Equilibrium in the Keynesian Theory (Basingstoke, Macmillan, 1992), pp. 99–105
  • 'On the Contributions of Joan Robinson and Piero Sraffa to Economic Theory', Ch. 3 of Maxine Berg (ed.), Political Economy in the Twentieth Century, New York, London, Philip Allan, 1990, pp. 35–67
  • 'On Mathematics and Economics' in G.C. Harcourt, Capitalism, Socialism and Post-Keynesianism. Selected Essays of G.C. Harcourt, Cheltenham, Glos. Edward Elgar, 1995, 201–17
  • 'Some Reflections on Joan Robinson's Changes of Mind and Their Relationship to Post-Keynesianism and the Economics Profession', Chapter 26 of Maria Cristina Marcuzzo, Luigi L. Pasinetti and Alessandro Roncaglia (eds), The Economics of Joan Robinson, (London: Routledge, 1996)
  • 'How I do Economics', in Steven G. Medema and Warren J. Samuels (eds), Foundations of Research in Economics. How do Economists do Economics, (Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, 1996, pp. 93–102)
  • (with P. Kerr) 'Marx, Karl Heinrich (1818–83)' in Malcolm Warner (ed), International Encyclopedia of Business and Management, (London: Routledge, 1996, pp. 3388–95). 2nd edition, Vol. 5, 2001, pp. 4355–62. Reprinted in William Lazonick (ed.) The IEBN Handbook of Economics, London: Thomson, 2002, pp. 674–80
  • 'Horses for Courses': The Making of a Post-Keynesian Economist' in Arnold Heertje (ed.), The Makers of Modern Economics, Volume IV, Cheltenham, UK; Northampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar, 1999, pp. 32–69
  • 'A Left Keynesian View of the Phillips Curve Trade-off' in Robert Leeson (ed.), A.W.H. Phillips: Collected Works in Contemporary Perspective, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2000, pp. 304–7
  • 'Investment Expenditure, Unrealized Expectations and Offsetting Monetary Policies' in Riccardo Bellofiore and Piero Ferrai (eds.), Financial Fragility and Investment in the Capitalist Economy. The Economic legacy of Hyman Minsky, Volume II, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2001, pp. 69–75
  • (with Pervez Tahir and Prue Kerr), 'On Joan Robinson and China', Ch. 13 of Joan Robinson. Critical Assessments of Leading Economists, Vol. 5, edited by Prue Kerr with the collaboration of G.C. Harcourt, (London, Routledge, 2002), pp. 267–80
  • (with Prue Kerr), 'Keynes and the Cambridge School', ch. 22 of Warren J. Samuels, Jeff E. Biddle and John B. Davis (eds.), A Companion to the History of Economic Thought, Malden, USA, Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing, 2003, pp. 343–59
  • 'Cambridge Economic Tradition', in J.E. King (ed.), The Elgar Companion to Post Keynesian Economics, Cheltenham, Glos., UK, Northampton, Mass., USA: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, 2003, pp. 44–51
  • 'The economics of Keynes and its theoretical and political importance: or, what would Marx and Keynes have made of the happenings of the last 30 years?' in Gudmundur Magnusson and Jesper Jespersen (eds.), Keynes's General Theory and Current Views: Methodology, Institutions and Policies (Iceland: Faculty of Economies and Business Administration, University of Iceland, 2004) pp. 17–32. Slightly altered version titled 'The theoretical and political importance of the economics of Keynes: or, what would Marx and Keynes have made of the happenings of the past 30 years or more?' in Mathew Forstater, Gary Mongiovi and Steven Pressman (eds.), Post Keynesian Macroeconomics. Essays in honour of Ingrid Rima, London and New York: Routledge, 2007, pp. 56–69
  • (with Avi J. Cohen), 'Introduction: Capital Theory Controversy: Scarcity, Production, Equilibrium and Time' in Christopher Bliss, Avi J. Cohen and G C. Harcourt (eds) Capital Theory, Volume I (Cheltenham, Glos., UK and Northampton, Mass., USA, Edward Elgar Publishing Limited), 2005, pp. xxvii – lx.
  • 'The relevance of the Cambridge-Cambridge controversies in capital theory for econometric practice' in Philips Arestis, Michelle Baddeley and John S. L. McCombie (eds.), Economic Growth. New Directions in Theory and Policy (Cheltenham, UK, Northampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar), 2007, pp. 117–35
  • 'What is the Cambridge approach to economics?' in Eckhard Hein and Achim Truger (eds.), Money, Distribution and Economic Policy. Alternatives to Orthodox Macroeconomics (Cheltenham, UK, Northampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar), 2007, pp. 11–30
  • 'Economics: from Moral Science to Game Theory' in Peter Pagnamenta (ed.) The University of Cambridge: an 800th Anniversary Portrait, London: Third Millenium Publishing, 2008, pp. 168–171
  • 'The Contributions of Tom Asinakopulos to Post Keynesian Eonomics', Chapter 5 in L. Randall Wray and Mathew Forstater (eds.), Keynes and Macroeconomics after 70 Years, Critical Assessments of The General Theory, Cheltenham, UK; Northampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar, 2008, pp. 64–79
  • (With P.H. Nolan) 'Price theory and multinational oligopoly: Kurt Rothschild and Stephen Hymer revisited', Chapter 10 in Manoj Kumar Sanyal, Mandira Sanyal and Shahina Amin (eds.), Post-Reform Development in Asia: Essays for Amiya Kumar Bagchi, Orient Black Swan, 2009, pp. 263–288
  • (With Prue Kerr), 'The Accumulation of Capital over 50 years on', Chapter 19 in Stefano Zambelli (ed.), Computable, Constructive and Behavioural Economic Dynamics. Essays in Honour of Kumaraswamy (Vela) Velupillai. London and New York: Routledge, 2010, pp. 291–317
  • 'Finance, speculation and stability: Post Keynesian Policies for modern capitalism', Chapter 16 in Giuseppe Fontana, John McCombie and Malcolm Sawyer (eds), Macroeconomics, Finance and Money. Essays in honour of Philip Arestis, Houndmills, Hants: Palgrave Macmillan, 200, 237–49


  • In 1971 he was elected a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.
  • In 1994 he was made an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AO) 'for service to economic theory and to the history of economic thought'
  • In 1996 he was made a Distinguished Fellow of the Economic Society of Australia.
  • In 2003 he was elected to an Academician of the Academy of the Social Sciences in the UK.
  • In 2004 he was made a Distinguished Fellow of the History of Economics Society (USA).
  • In 2004 he was made an Honorary Member of the European Society for the History of Economic Thought.
  • In 2011 he received the Veblen-Commons Award from the Association for Evolutionary Economics


  • P. Arestis, G. Palma and M. Sawyer, 'Introduction' in P. Arestis (et al.), Capital Controversy, Post Keynesian Economics and the History of Economic Thought: Essays in Honour of Geoff Harcourt vol 1, Routledge, London, 1997.
  • Geoffrey C Harcourt page at the New School’s history of economic thought website [2]
  • Citation for the award of an Honorary Degree at the University of Melbourne [3]
  • His 'profile' at the The Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia may be found here [4]

External links

  • A lengthy Interview with Geoff Harcourt (where he talks about his life, the Cambridge controversies and other aspects of economic theory) may be found at The University of Cambridge.

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