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A. W. H. Phillips: Collected Works in Contemporary by Robert Leeson

By Robert Leeson

Almost all of latest macroeconomics is underpinned via a Phillips curve of 1 sort or one other, and this quantity collects for the 1st time the main works of 1 of the good economists. as well as twelve sizeable items, twenty-nine economists together with Lawrence Klein, James Meade, Thomas Sargent, Peter Phillips, David Hendry, William Baumol, Richard Lipsey and Geoffrey Harcourt spotlight and interpret Phillips' ongoing impact. This quantity additionally includes six of Phillips' formerly unpublished essays, 4 of which have been lengthy suggestion to were misplaced.

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Phillips: An Extraordinary Life 17 shortly after morning tea, Phillips collapsed in the Economic History of®ce having suffered a massive stroke (correspondence from Graeme Snooks; conversation with Herb Grubel). For Phillips' discussion of in¯ationary expectations, see Cagan (chapter 4) and Phillips (chapter 16). 24 Richard Lipsey noted that `Phillips himself was interested only in analysing the potentially destabilising effects of ®ne tuning' (1981, 557, n. 16); ` . . He had no tolerance for accepting in¯ation as a price of reducing unemployment' (correspondence).

He also understood the machine better than anybody else that I have met. Once in the late 1980s I had the privilege of watching the machine in operation with Meade, and asking him about it as the water was going round. 3 How should we now think of the Phillips Machine? The chapters in part II of this volume make it clear that it was an extraordinarily clever physical device. But these chapters do not address my question because they are quite consistent with a merely `gee-whiz' evaluation of the machine as an historical curiosum: an analogue computer running on water, superseded by serious computer models; a model of a (perhaps outdated) Keynesian way of thinking about the economy, of no particular interest to students ± or researchers ± any longer.

19 It was this frame of mind which he brought to macroeconomics and which so much impressed his colleagues: `Bill Phillips was, and indeed is, a hero to me' (correspondence from Chris Archibald). During the 1960s the macroeconomic consensus was breaking down and `popularised' versions of Phillips' empirical work became pivotal to the controversy between monetarists and Keynesians. Mark Blaug (1980, 221) described this as `one of the most frustrating and irritating controversies in the entire history of economic thought, frequently resembling medieval disputations at their worst'.

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