The principle of effective demand (expected), and the role of demand in Keynes’ general theory

Vol. 16 No. 4 (1996)

Oct-Dec / 1996
Published October 1, 1996
PDF-Portuguese (Português (Brasil))
PDF-Portuguese (Português (Brasil))

How to Cite

Klagsbrunn, Victor Hugo. 1996. “The Principle of Effective Demand (expected), and the Role of Demand in Keynes’ General Theory”. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy 16 (4):547-66.

The principle of effective demand (expected), and the role of demand in Keynes’ general theory

Victor Hugo Klagsbrunn
Professor Titular do Departamento de Economia da Universidade Federal Fluminense – UFF, Rio de Janeiro/RJ, Brasil.
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 16 No. 4 (1996), Oct-Dec / 1996, Pages 547-566


Effective demand was defined by Keynes as that which the entrepreneur
expects at the time he decides to invest. From that decision, all other essential variables
are determined by the model developed in The General Theory, as long as a series of other
variables are considered a given. Keynes’ model, therefore, is situated at the ex-ante moment,
without considering autonomous changes in variables that are not investments per se. The
construction, the presuppositions and the consequences of the effective demand principle
seriously affect the results that can be achieved by its application, due in great part to the
contradictions inherent to Keynes’ treatment of the consumer market and, especially, to
the propensity to consume. In excluding market considerations and variables, the model
developed in The General Theory only partially represents that which occurs in the economy
even when the investment varies, since this is considered an autonomous outlay that does
not depend on production, employment, income or demand variables that might occur,
whether or not they arise from prior investments.

JEL classification: B22; E12.

Keywords: Effective demand Keynesianism history of economic thought