To the programme Committee
EEA convention in Istanbul


January 14 1996


Dear professor Van Wijnbergen,

You wrote me on January 3 that my paper "On the political economy of employment in the welfare state" cannot be accepted for presentation since it has already been published.

If I understand you correctly, then in 1937, when Keynes would submit the "General Theory" for presentation and discussion, then you would refuse that, since the book was published in 1936. Also the Istanbul convention will abstain from discussing matters that already have been published, but will concentrate on pure novelties. And all participants are supposed to be fully aware what has been published, e.g. in other countries. If I understand you correctly, then, indeed it is only natural that Slutskyís paper has been neglected for 20 years, since it had been, indeed, published.

For clarity, the present paper is an improved version. In terms of material content, the same is being said in the first version, which has been included in my "Definition and Reality in the general theory of political economy. Some background papers 1989-1992", Magnana Mu 1992. In terms of presentation, this version is more accessible.

The 1992 publication has been in the "grey circuit". There has been an advertisement in ESB. About 10 copies of the 1992 publication have been sold. One copy is in the Koninklijke Bibliotheek ("Royal Library"). Iím pretty sure that our colleagues in Italy or Portugal have not heard of it yet.

Iíve worked as an econometrician at the Dutch CPB from 1982-1991. Till 1989 my work was appreciated. In 1989/90 I made the analysis that a parliamentary enquiry into the structure of policy making was useful. A paper with that analysis and advice was blocked by the directorate. I was put apart, and fired in 1991. Iíve had no affiliation with an economics institute since then, and it appears that the Dutch annual meetings of Ecozoek have been stopped. As a result, Iím rather isolated. The possibility of discussion thus is rather important to me.

Your position does not seem balanced, and I kindly ask you to reconsider. I think "quality" should be the test.

Kind regards,


Thomas Cool