I consider the representation of theory concerning the relationship between inflation and unemployment, as presented in a sample of economics textbooks from the 1940s to the 1980s. It is argued that they contain nothing to contradict the impression from Forder, Macroeconomics and the Phillips Curve Myth (2014), that the history of the Phillips curve as commonly understood in the 1980s and after is fictitious. Indeed, the study of the textbooks substantially confirms the conclusions there. Among the findings pointing in this direction is that the 1960s editions of the textbooks give no impression of there being a naive faith in the possibility of maintaining low unemployment with excess demand and inflationary policy. Even in cases where later editions of the same textbooks assert very firmly that such views were widespread, their expression is not to be found in the 1960s editions.
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James Forder; Textbooks on the Phillips Curve. History of Political Economy 1 June 2015; 47 (2): 207–240. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00182702-2884309
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