Harrod's 1939 'Essay in Dynamic Theory' is celebrated as one of the foundational papers in the modern theory of economic growth. Linked eternally to Evsey Domar, he appears in the undergraduate and graduate macroeconomics curricula, and his 'fundamental equation' appears as the central result of the AK model in modern textbooks. Reading his Essay today, however, the reasons for his centrality are less clear. Looking forward from 1939, we see that the main stream of economic growth theory is built on neoclassical distribution theory rather than on the Keynesian principles Harrod deployed. Looking back, we see that there were many antecedent developments in growth economics, some much closer than Harrod's to contemporary developments. So what, then, did Harrod accomplish?
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics and Econometrics