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Macroeconomics and the Phillips Curve Myth$
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James Forder

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199683659

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199683659.001.0001

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The Role of Samuelson and Solow, American Economic Review 1960

The Role of Samuelson and Solow, American Economic Review 1960

(p.33) Chapter 2 The Role of Samuelson and Solow, American Economic Review 1960
Macroeconomics and the Phillips Curve Myth

James Forder

Oxford University Press

The context and objectives of Samuelson and Solow’s contribution to the American Economic Review of May 1960 is considered. It is argued that they took a broad, eclectic, and reasonable view of the relation between inflation and unemployment, and did not—contrary to what has been claimed—either treat the Phillips curve as offering a stable tradeoff, or otherwise advocate inflationary policy. Further, it is shown that almost no one from the 1960s read them as being inflationist. That idea about them developed only in the 1970s. It is argued that they therefore cannot have been an inflationist influence on thinking of the 1960s—again, contrary to widely told stories.

Keywords:   A. W. H. Phillips, inflation-unemployment tradeoff, Phillips curve

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