Paul Davidson
Born (1930-10-23) October 23, 1930 (age 93)
EducationBrooklyn College (BS)
City University of New York (MBA)
University of Pennsylvania (PhD)
Years active1955-present
Academic career
School or
Post-Keynesian economics
InfluencesJohn Maynard Keynes, Sidney Weintraub
ContributionsCo-founding editor of the Journal of Post Keynesian Economics
Information at IDEAS / RePEc

Paul Davidson (born October 23, 1930) is an American macroeconomist who has been one of the leading spokesmen of the American branch of the post-Keynesian school in economics. He has actively intervened in important debates on economic policy (natural resources, international monetary system, developing countries' debt) from a position critical of mainstream economics.

Early life

Davidson did not originally choose economics as a profession. His primary training was in both chemistry and biology, for which he received B.Sc. degrees from Brooklyn College in 1950.[1] He was a graduate student in biochemistry at the University of Pennsylvania, but switched to economics, receiving his MBA from the City University of New York in 1955, and completing his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania in 1959.

J. Barkley Rosser Jr. from the Levy Economics Institute describes how, despite being accepted to graduate programs at Harvard, M.I.T., Berkeley and Brown, Davidson accepted an offer to the University of Pennsylvania which came with a generous financial aid package, which allowed him and his wife Louise, to start a family.[2]

Professional Positions

During his seven decades as an economist, Davidson's professional positions[3] included:

At Cambridge he worked with Joan Robinson to discuss draft chapters of his manuscript Money and the Real World . [4] The discussions got very heated and she finally refused to speak to him about his work. Soon, when Davidson arrived at his office, he would often find a blank sheet of paper with a hand written question from her. He would spend the morning writing his answer and when Robinson went out for morning coffee, he would put the paper with his answer in her office. When Davidson returned to his office after lunch he would find Robinson's comments scrawled over the paper.[2]

Davidson had a role in developing Environmental economics after his role as economic advisor to Continental Oil. Davidson was "nearly fired" when he forecast the company would do better if John F. Kennedy won the 1960 United States presidential election but when Kennedy won, though Davidson's counsel was more sought after by management, he and his wife, tired of the corporate environment, left to return to academia.[2]


Paul Davidson warned of the impending subprime mortgage crisis in January 2008[5] and explicitly contested Alan Greenspan's recommendation for a market-based solution to let “housing prices (and security pegged to mortgages) fall until investors see them as bargains and start buying, stabilizing the economy,[6]” instead accurately predicting that “if Congress does nothing, then a year from today we may be mired in the Greatest Recession since the Great Depression.[5]” Ten months later when the economy collapsed, Greenspan admitted in Congressional testimony to be shocked that his free-market ideology was flawed.[7]

Congressional appearances

Davidson has appeared before United States congressional subcommittees and provided testimony twenty times from 1973 to 1985[3] mostly on energy and antitrust issues.

Published Activity

Davidson has authored or co-authored 22 books including Who's Afraid of John Maynard Keynes? Challenging Economic Governance in an Age of Growing Inequality[8] and hundreds of articles.

Davidson and Sidney Weintraub founded the Journal of Post Keynesian Economics in 1978. Davidson continued as editor of that journal until 2014. He is also a contributor to the Center for Full Employment and Stability. The CFEPS website (see Other Contributors: Paul Davidson Archived 2018-07-27 at the Wayback Machine) contains more biographical information about him, as well as a list of his publications, with links to a few.

Edward Elgar Publishing published a three-volume "Essays in Honour of Paul Davidson" series starting in 1996. They include

See comprehensive (but not complete) list of Paul Davidson publications list on / Google Scholar


  1. ^ "Paul Davidson". Center for Full Employment and Price Stability. Archived from the original on 2018-07-27. Retrieved 2011-04-03.
  2. ^ a b c Rosser, Barkley Jr. (September 13, 1998). "Paul Davidson's Economics" (PDF). Working Paper No. 251.
  3. ^ a b "Paul Davidson Biography & CV at University of Tennessee". University of Tennessee. 10 December 2021. Retrieved 2022-03-25.
  4. ^ Davidson, Paul (1972). Money and the Real World. Springer. doi:10.1007/978-1-349-15865-2. ISBN 978-1-349-15865-2.
  5. ^ a b Davidson, Paul (January 31, 2008). "How To Solve The U.S. Housing Problem and Avoid A Recession: A Revived HOLC and RTC" (PDF). Schwartz Center For Economic Policy Analysis, The New School.
  6. ^ Wessel, David (December 20, 2007). "Don't Count on a Stimulus Plan". WSJ.
  7. ^ Leonhardt, David (October 23, 2008). "Greenspan's Mea Culpa". NY Times.
  8. ^ Davidson, Paul (2017). Who's Afraid of John Maynard Keynes?. Palgrave Macmillan. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-64504-9. ISBN 978-3-319-64504-9.

Major publications

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Girón, Alicia (January 2009). "Review of John Maynard Keynes by Davidson, Paul (2007) in Great Thinkers in Economics Series, Palgrave, Macmillan, England". Ola Financiera (in Spanish). 2: 134–136. Pdf.