Guide to the Don Patinkin Papers, 1870-1995
The bulk of the professional papers of Don Patinkin date from the years he spent as an undergraduate and graduate student at the University of Chicago, beginning in 1942 and spanning his entire career, ending with his death in August, 1995. These are the dates of Patinkin's production or acquisition of the papers in the collection, but many of the documents in the collection are research materials that were produced earlier by others; these date chiefly from the 1930s. Materials represented include correspondence, book manuscripts and other manuscript drafts; course materials, including lectures, seminar notes, syllabi, student papers, and exams; student notebooks; committee and other organizational files; printed materials such as articles; book contracts; academic files, including recommendations and reports; some financial and legal files; invitations; clippings; and a few photographs.
The main subjects of interest are related chiefly to Keynesian economics, but also to the neoclassical theory of value, equilibrium economics, theories of unemployment, and general monetary economics. Other subjects include the teaching of economics; the histories of Chicago University's School of Economics and Hebrew University in Jerusalem; the Israeli economy; Israeli agriculture; and social conditions in Israel and adjacent areas. Many of these subjects are discussed in Patinkin's major publications, whose drafts can also be found in the collection: these titles include Money, Interest, and Prices: An Integration of Monetary and Value Theory; Keynes' Monetary Thought: A Study of Its Development; Anticipations of the General Theory and Other Essays on Keynes; Essays on and in the Chicago Tradition; and The Israel Economy: The First Decade.
Correspondents and chief protagonists during Patinkin's long career represent almost every major economist of the twentieth century, but the most prominent include Kenneth Arrow, Milton Friedman, Roy Harrod, John Hicks, Frank Knight, Harry Johnson, Simon Kuznets, Franco Modigliani, Dennis Robertson, Paul Samuelson, James Tobin, and Jacob Viner; Duke University faculty are represented by Craufurd Goodwin, Neil DeMarchi, and Roy Weintraub.
The papers are currently organized in series corresponding, for the most part, to the different yet interrelated strains of literature to which Patinkin contributed over his life. The series are: University of Chicago School of Economics, General Monetary Theory, Keynes and the History of Monetary Theory, Correspondence, Israel and Hebrew Materials, and Miscellaneous. (Of course, in many cases Patinkin's work crosses the boundaries within this taxonomy.)
Within each of the first three series the papers are further organized in subseries: Raw Materials, Course Materials, and Manuscripts and Notes. In general, the Raw Materials Subseries includes photocopied manuscripts of other economists, raw data, and other resources which Patinkin used in his research. (The term "raw materials" was the name he invented for such research materials.) The Course Materials Subseries includes syllabi, lecture notes, and photocopied readings which Patinkin used in his courses. The Manuscripts and Notes Subseries includes reprints and various stages of drafts of the many articles (and books) Patinkin wrote, and typewritten or handwritten notes he made in the course of his research.
The largest series of the collection is the Correspondence Series, which consists of forty-two boxes of letters between Patinkin and his professional colleagues, as well as book publishers and conference organizers, from the 1930s through 1995. Patinkin was a prolific correspondent, and consequently this series is a rich mine of written exchanges between Patinkin and most of the outstanding figures in twentieth century economics. The letters in this series will be useful to researchers in a very broad domain of interests. They can be used to document the cross-currents of thought communicated between Patinkin and other economists, or they could be used in research which is in almost every respect unrelated to Patinkin. For example, one paper has already made use of the lengthy and somewhat contentious correspondence between Patinkin and a little-known mathematician as evidence of that man's views in quite another dispute with Kenneth Arrow and Nicolas Georgescu-Roegen over the role of mathematics in economic modelling. It should be noted that clippings, curriculum vitae and other personal data, and photographs can also be found in this series.
The General Monetary Series contains materials related to the "neoclassical synthesis," the integration of Keynesian macroeconomics and the neoclassical theory of value pioneered by W. S. Jevons, Carl Menger, and Leon Walras, and developed by Alfred Marshall and A. C. Pigou. Patinkin is most widely known among economists for his contributions to this field. The first major work in the neoclassical synthesis was John Hicks's "Mr. Keynes and the Classics" (Econometrica, 1937), which framed Keynes's General Theory as a static system of equations and represented involuntary unemployment as a solution to the system such that the labor market does not clear. Patinkin's contribution to the neoclassical synthesis began in 1947 with his University of Chicago PhD thesis On the Consistency of Economic Models: A Theory of Involuntary Unemployment, and reached its pinnacle with his 1956 book, Money, Interest, and Prices (MIP). (The book's subtitle, An Integration of Monetary and Value Theory, is more descriptive of its contents).
A second edition of MIP was published in 1965, and an abridged version of the second edition, with a lengthy new introduction, was published in 1989. Materials related to the contents of MIP are found in the General Monetary Theory Series. They consist of -- among many other items -- drafts of both editions of the MIP (in Manuscripts and Notes), coursepacks from Patinkin's Monetary Economics Seminar at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and elsewhere (in Course Materials), and a large number of photocopied articles, representing major innovations in monetary and macro-economics from the mid-1960s through the late '80s, which Patinkin used in writing his introduction to the abridged second edition of MIP.
In MIP Patinkin emphasized the Walrasian (general equilibrium) aspect of the neoclassical theory of value, and introduced real money balances as another one of the many goods from which consumers derive utility. The major results of this approach were a derivation of the "equation of exchange", MV=PT, from microfoundations; and the dismissal of Hicks's favored cause of involuntary unemployment in his static system: the "liquidity trap" which occurs when agents are unwilling to substitute bonds for money below a certain interest rate. With regard to the latter result, Patinkin was thought by some to be undermining the Keynesian revolution. Patinkin's own view, to the contrary, was that he was contributing to that revolution by making the argument of the source of involuntary unemployment more sophisticated. Having done away with Hicks's "liquidity trap" explanation of unemployment, Patinkin indeed could no longer find any satisfying explanation of unemployment within the solution to the static system of equations. Instead, Patinkin thought of unemployment as a phenomenon occurring during the economy's dynamic adjustment towards the equilibrium represented by the solution to the static system. In other words, Patinkin re-framed Hicks's model of Keynesian "equilibrium unemployment" as a model of "disequilibrium unemployment."
Patinkin was careful to place his work in MIP in the context of the debates in monetary and macro-economics which preceded it and helped motivate it; this required extensive research of the work of Walras, Keynes, and many other figures in the history of economics. In fact Hicks, who reviewed MIP for the Economic Journal, claimed Patinkin's "detailed examination of Walras is one of the most impressive parts of Patinkin's book." Patinkin's work in the history of economics went far beyond a few chapters in MIP, though. In 1976 the University of Chicago Press published his book Keynes' Monetary Thought: A Study of Its Development. A number of his journal articles on Keynes and possible precursors are collected in Anticipations of the General Theory? And Other Essays on Keynes (Duke University Press, 1982). In addition, Patinkin was on the advisory board of History of Political Economy and was a frequent contributor to, and referee for, that journal.
These historical interests are the basis of the Keynes and the History of Monetary Theory Series. Among the Manuscripts and Notes Subseries can be found early drafts of Anticipations, and the entries for "J. M. Keynes" and "Walras' Law" which he was solicited to write for the New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. Course Materials Subseries includes coursepacks for the History of Monetary Theory Seminar which Patinkin taught at the Hebrew University, and which he viewed as essential for students in understanding the Monetary Economics Seminar. Among the Raw Materials are photocopied lecture notes, from a few different sources, on courses offered by Keynes and others at Cambridge in the early 1930's. Also, within the Correspondence Series can be found numerous referee's reports Patinkin addressed to Craufurd Goodwin, editor of History of Political Economy. His reports tend to be detailed and meticulous -- and often quite sharp.
Patinkin also found subjects closer to home which stimulated his historical interests, and materials related to these areas of interest can be found in the University of Chicago School of Economics Series. Among his lecturers -- and greatest influences -- when he was a student at Chicago were Frank Knight and Jacob Viner, and, to a lesser extent, Lloyd Mints and Henry C. Simons. Knight and Viner encouraged historical scholarly work very early in Patinkin's formation as an economist, and they were figures of such stature that it should not be surprising that Patinkin was later to turn his historical focus towards them and the early "Chicago School" which they, together with Mints and Simons, represented.
In 1981 Duke University Press published a collection of Patinkin's essays entitled Essays On and In the Chicago Tradition. As the title suggests, the book is a mix of articles representing a "Chicago approach" to economic questions (for example Patinkin's "Multiple-Plant Firms, Cartels, and Imperfect Competition," written while still a graduate student at Chicago and published in 1947), and articles about the Chicago approach and the men who embodied it (for example "Frank Knight as Teacher" (1973) and "The Chicago Tradition, the Quantity Theory, and Friedman" (1969).
The research Patinkin conducted in writing these and other articles in the same vein is the basis of the University of Chicago School of Economics Series. Among the Raw Materials are drafts of Patinkin's dissertation, lists of other dissertations in monetary economics written at the University of Chicago in the 1930's and '40's (including the one written by Patinkin's friend, and now Professor Emeritus at Duke, Martin Bronfenbrenner), and numerous reprints of articles by Frank Knight. The Manuscripts and Notes Subseries includes a number of slides Patinkin used in presentations of his paper In Search of the 'Wheel of Wealth': On the Origins of Frank Knight's Circular-Flow Diagram which was published in 1973 and later included in Essays On and In the Chicago Tradition. The slides, which present graphically early conceptions by different economists of the "circular flow" diagram now common in undergraduate macroeconomics texts, include the amusing 1887 diagram by Fleeming Jenkin which looks like five stick-figures skipping rope. Finally, the Course Materials Subseries is comprised entirely of one box of notebooks Patinkin kept from his undergraduate and graduate courses at Chicago.
Aside from Patinkin's interests in the history of economics, but consistent with his broader interest in macroeconomics, Patinkin followed the development of the Israeli economy and wrote occasionally on economic conditions in Israel; he was frequently called upon to serve on committees advising the Israeli government. This work is the basis of the Israel and Hebrew Materials Series. Most of the papers in this series are in Hebrew, though Patinkin provided English-language translations of most titles. Correspondence can also be found in this series. Other materials referring to his activities in Israel can be found in the Correspondence Series in his communications with other colleagues and friends.
His work in this area was no doubt motivated by the same attachment to Zionism and Israel that led him to begin seeking an academic position at the Hebrew University only a few months after he completed his preliminary exams for the Ph.D. at Chicago, and which was also represented by his first published article: "Mercantilism and the Readmission of the Jews to England" (Jewish Social Studies 8, 1946: 161-78). Patinkin's first idea for a Ph.D. thesis, in fact, was The International Economic Position of Palestine. Although he abandoned the project due to lack of data, he continued to think along those lines -- particularly after finally accepting a position at the Hebrew University and arriving in Jerusalem in 1949. In 1959 the Maurice Falk Institute for Economic Research in Israel published his book The Israel Economy: The First Decade; and although he published no books on the topic afterward, he continued to write about it throughout his life.
- Collection Number
- Don Patinkin papers
- Patinkin, Don
- 120 Linear Feet, 90,000 Items
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- University of Chicago School of Economics, ca. 1941-1989and undated
- General Monetary Theory, ca. 1933-1995and undated
- Keynes and the History of Monetary Theory, 1870-1994and undated (Bulk 1930-1989)
- Correspondence, 1930-1995and undated (Bulk 1950-1995)
- Israel and Hebrew Series, ca. 1944-1986and undated
- Miscellaneous Series, ca. 1930-1990and undated (Bulk 1950-1980)
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How to Cite
[Identification of item], The Don Patinkin Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
Material is not in date order. Includes some correspondence, but consists chiefly of notebooks and manuscripts relating to Patinkin's writings on the Chicago School of Economics, and to his own early graduate education. One small section of materials consists of photocopies of microfilmed theses from the University of Chicago.
Contains chiefly course materials and manuscripts of works by Patinkin and articles by others. There are also some lecture cassettes. Materials are not arranged in date order.
Most of the early raw materials are reprints of originals. There is some correspondence in this series as well. Materials are not in date order, though in many cases the box contents follow a rough chronological order by year.
Contains scattered files of biographical data in addition to professional correspondence, which includes recommendations, permissions, and purchases. There are also some folders of clippings, book orders, and some photographs. This series reflects the complex and sometimes chronologically overlapping filing structures that Patinkin himself established. As much as possible, these filing systems were left intact, but to avoid excessive overlap some chronological re-organization was necessary. With a few exceptions, the arrangement within filing groups is alphabetical. File folders representing one person's or one institution's correspondence with Patinkin may appear in several physical locations depending on the chronological periods involved. There is one indexed subseries in which Patinkin used codes representing dates; this has been left untouched.
Though almost all the materials are in Hebrew, many folders were marked by Patinkin with English titles. There are materials filed here whose subjects are related to other series above: for instance, Patinkin's Hebrew University course materials on general monetary theory are be found here rather than in the General Monetary Series. There are also numerous folders of correspondence in this series. Materials are not in date order.