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How Germany’s Anti-Keynesianism Has Brought Europe to Its Knees

Levy Economics Institute Working Paper No. 886

43 Pages

Posted: 23 Mar 2017  

Jörg Bibow

Skidmore College – Department of Economics; Bard College – Levy Economics Institute

Date Written: March 20, 2017

Abstract

This paper investigates the (lack of any lasting) impact of John Maynard Keynes’s General Theory on economic policymaking in Germany. The analysis highlights the interplay between economic history and the history of ideas in shaping policymaking in postwar (West) Germany. The paper argues that Germany learned the wrong lessons from its own history and misread the true sources of its postwar success. Monetary mythology and the Bundesbank, with its distinctive anti-inflationary bias, feature prominently in this collective odyssey. The analysis shows that the crisis of the euro today is largely the consequence of Germany’s peculiar anti-Keynesianism.

Keywords: John Maynard Keynes, Mercantilism, Economic and Monetary Union, Euro Crisis

JEL Classification: B31, E30, E58, E65, N14

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