Research Discussion Paper – RDP 2000-04 Keynes and Australia


JM Keynes was more important to Australia than Australia was to him. Yet the connections are many and varied, and worthy of some attention. As has been said, 'a survey of the rise and fall of Keynesian economics in Australia' is 'an important story which still has to be written'; but it 'is the subject for at least three years arduous research' (Groenewegen 1983). This paper is less ambitious. An exercise in economic, personal and political history and in the history of economic thought, it briefly outlines:

1. Keynes's dealings with the Australian Prime Minister, William Morris Hughes, over the reparations demands against Germany after World War I;

2. some incidental economic issues;

3. Keynes's opinions and influence on the handling of the Depression in Australia;

4. the early impact of Keynesian economics in Australia; and

5. Australia's approach to the creation of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, of which Keynes was co-founder.

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