Joan Robinson and the reconstruction of economic theory

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Joan Robinson provided numerous contributions to economic theory, ranging from her earlier approach to imperfect competition to her participation in the Keynesian revolution, which had a significant influence in the Cambridge heterodox wing, and Post-Keynesianism. But towards the end of her life, her rejection of received theories was great enough to be often interpreted as a form of theoretical nihilism. However, at this stage she also outlined a radical project for a reconstruction of economic theory, drawing on her notion of historical time, while placing distribution at the centre of economic theory. This later project of a reconstruction of economic theory is revisited here, focussing on the various difficulties it faced, and its overall significance and impact.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)883-907
Number of pages25
JournalCambridge Journal of Economics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2023


  • Circular flow
  • Distribution
  • Economic methodology
  • Economic theory
  • Historical time


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