Article Title

Patinkin, Johnson, and the shadow of Friedman


George Stigler (1987, 311) concluded that his friend and Chicago colleague, Milton Friedman, had "established (to my complete satisfaction) his claim as the best debater in a profession that likes to debate." Since Friedman (like Stigler) set out to change the direction of economic policy and research he could not have been surprised by the controversy his efforts elicited. Indeed, he courted controversy to further his counterrevolution. He informed Don Patinkin (8 November 1948) that he had been disappointed with the "very little violent criticism" of his "Monetary and Fiscal Framework for Economic Stability" ([1948] 1953): "I, too, have been expecting that someone would take a crack at it. , . , I shall certainly be disappointed if someone doesn't write a rejoinder to it."

This essay focuses on economist Milton Friedman's professional connection with colleagues Don Patinkin and Harry Johnson. Criticism of Friedman's work by Patinkin and Johnson; Reasons for the animosity between Friedman and Patinkin and Johnson; Criticisms on Friedman's quantity theory; Disagreements in the economists' works.



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