John Maynard Keynes

Other names: 

J. M. Keynes

Baron Keynes

Date of birth: 
05 Jun 1883
City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Date of death: 
21 Apr 1946

John Maynard Keynes was a Cambridge-based economist after whom a branch of macroeconomic theory is named. He was educated at Eton and then King's College, Cambridge, where he became a member of the Apostles and became friends with the Bloomsbury circle including Lytton Strachey and Leonard Woolf who had recruited him. Keynes competed for the Indian Civil Service and worked for the India Office in London from 1906 to 1908. He then took up a post lecturing in economics at Cambridge. His first book, published in 1913, was called Indian Currency and Finance. As a Cambridge tutor, Keynes often met and taught Indian students.

During the First World War, Keynes was recruited to the Treasury, through the influence of Edwin Montagu. He assisted with the British war-time economy in this war and the Second World War. During the inter-war period, Keynes wrote prolifically on economic matters. His most influential work was The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, which came out in 1936. Keynes argued that the economy could be stimulated by increased government expenditure in times of falling demand and rising unemployment. He died in 1946.

Published works: 

Indian Currency and Finance (London: Macmillan, 1913)

A Treatise on Probability (1921)

Revision of the Treaty (1922)

A Tract on Monetary Reform (1923)

The Economic Consequences of Mr. Churchill (1925)

Laissez Faire and Communism (1926)

A Treatise on Money, 2 vols. (1930)

The Means to Prosperity (1933)

The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (1936)

How to Pay for the War: A Radical Plan for the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1940)

Contributions to periodicals: 

Economic Journal, Nation & Atheneum, Manchester Guardian Commercial, Reconstruction in Europe, The Listener, New Republic, New Statesman and Nation.

Secondary works: 

Cairncross, Alec, ‘Keynes, John Maynard, Baron Keynes (1883–1946)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2008) []


Letter to editor of Cambridge Review, 17 May 1909, in JMK/IC/1, King's College Archive Centre, Cambridge


A letter in response to an editorial on 'The Indian Student at Cambridge', 13 May 1909, which felt that with the rise of Indians at Cambridge that there were many Indian students who were not prepared for the degree and that they should not be allowed to hold or talk about revolutionary views when in Britain. Keynes contends that there should not be any restrictions on Indian students, but agrees with the plan to distribute Indians evenly among the colleges.


Since we fill up the Indian Civil Service and the Indian Medical Service through examinations held in England on the lines of English education, since qualifications for the higher posts in the scientific departments can only be obtained at a European University, and while a call to the English bar is thought to be an advantage in India, it is our duty to give full opportunity to all Indians whose ambitions lie most properly in these directions.

Archive source: 

Correspondence and papers, King's College archive centre, Cambridge

Correspondence, Trinity College Archive, Cambridge

Official correspondence and papers, National Archives, Kew

Correspondence and miscellaneous papers, British Library of Political and Economic Science, London

Correspondence with Vanessa Bell and Kingsley Martin, University of Sussex, Brighton