Thursday, April 7, 2022

The Passing of Alain Parguez

 I have just learned from Louis-Philippe Rochon that Alain Parguez has died.  He was a French economist long based at the University of Besancon before he retired some years ago.  He was long perhspa the main leader of the "circuitist" school of monetary economics, a distinctively French approach that never really caught on in the US, although it has had adherents in Canada.  It is a sort of kissing cousin of the MMT approach, but with more of a Marxist bent to it.  Ironically for a quasi-Marxist I was told by somebody, not Alain himself, that apparently he had pretty serious aristocratic ancestry.

He used to fairly regularly attend the Eastern Economic Association meetings, and I also encountered him in France as well on several occasions, where I used to spend more time than I do anymore. He was a fascinating personality, quite a distinctive character, with a highly distinctive way of speaking that would command one's attention, even if one did not necessarily agree with what he was saying.  I always enjoyed his company.  Our daughter, Sasha, now a successful standup comedian, found him much more interesting than almost any other of my economics colleagues that she ever observed.

As it is, I have mixed feelings about circuitism, which is an intellectually challenging view.  But I confess to having some frustration with it as well, as with some other views it sort of running in circles on itself as it were. But then I guess that is appropriate for a school of thought called circuitism. Anyway, RIP to Alain.

Barkley Rosser

1 comment:

Calgacus said...

Very sad news. There was a conference in his honor some years ago, I don't think the proceedings were ever published. His unpublished paper on the US Great Depression "Revising the revisionists" - [which is almost everyone imho] is one of the most essential readings on it.

I said a long time ago at New Economic Perspectives that circuitism and MMT are two bunches of hippies who merged their communes a long time ago. And that goes double about Parguez. He could be amazingly concise, forthright and to the point making the Anglosphere MMTers' points better than they did.