James Ahiakpor's Essay
8 Pages
1958 Words

James Ahiakpor in his essay, "WICKSELL ON THE CLASSICAL THEORIES OF MONEY, CREDIT, INTEREST AND THE PRICE LEVEL: PROGRESS OR RETROGRESSION?” started up the argument which was followed by the number of replies. His treatment of Wicksell place in the history of monetary economics is kind of biased, as we shall see further. As he states in the Abstract to his essay:

Knut Wicksell occupies a significant place in the history of monetary economics as the developer of the "cumulative process" by which deviations between the market and "natural" rates of interest cause the price level to change persistently. A more accurate version of the same argument is a part of classical monetary analysis but there the process originates from a change in base money or central bank credit while Wicksell's version may be initiated by banks capriciously setting their lending rates. Wicksell's version arises from his difficulties in correctly interpreting the classical quantity theory of money and interest rate determination from Hume down to Marshall, but has not been so noted in the literature.

As Ahiakpor points out further in his introduction:

Indeed, the cumulative process argument typically attributed to Wicksell is part and parcel of classical monetary analysis,(n2) as entailed in their forced-saving doctrine, except that the classical version is not as open-ended as Wicksell's. The tendency of commentators not to contrast Wicksell's monetary analysis directly with that of the classics appears to have obscured recognition of this fact.

Ahiakpor's critique of Wicksell is not so much consistent with the views of the other writers who replied to his essay. Their views differ from highly opposed, to just opposed and to simply neutral that points out that there are some goods and bads to Wicksell's theory. Thomas Humphrey starts his reply with those words: "It takes a bold person to challenge the intellectual achievements of a giant figure i...

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