Uncertainty and identity: a post Keynesian approach


  • John B. Davis Marquette University and University of Amsterdam




identity, uncertainty, Marshall, Keynes, post Keynesian economics, expectations


Marshall's asset equilibrium model provides a way of explaining the identity of entrepreneurs. Keynes adopted this model but transformed it when he emphasized the short-period and volatile character of long-term expectations. This entails a view of entrepreneur identity in which radical uncertainty plays a central role. This in turn deepens the post Keynesian view of uncertainty as ontological in that entrepreneurs' survival plays into their behavior. This paper explores this role-based view of individual identity and uses the analysis to comment on Keynes’s ideas for the socialization of investment and euthanasia of the rentier in the last chapter of The general theory.

Author Biography

John B. Davis, Marquette University and University of Amsterdam

John B. Davis is professor of economics at Marquette University (USA) and professor of the history and philosophy of economics at University of Amsterdam (Netherlands). His research interests include the philosophy, ethics, and methodology of economics, (recent) history of economics, and healthcare economics. His new book, Individuals and identity in economics, is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press.




How to Cite

Davis, J. B. (2010). Uncertainty and identity: a post Keynesian approach. Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics, 3(1), 33-49. https://doi.org/10.23941/ejpe.v3i1.38