On the relevance of Knight, Keynes and Shackle for unawareness research

Ekaterina Svetlova*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
100 Downloads (Pure)


This paper is dedicated to the interpretation of Knightian and Keynesian uncertainty as a situation of unawareness in which agents lack perfect knowledge of possible future states (not just of probabilities assigned to those states). So far, a systematic and nuanced debate of unawareness with relation to Knight's and Keynes' legacy has been largely neglected. The paper aims to fill this gap. It discusses in detail how Knight's, Keynes' and also Shackle's ideas about the state space, surprises and ignorance are echoed (but often unacknowledged) in contemporary unawareness research. Parallel reading of these two streams of the literature reveals strong commonalities in argumentation, suggesting that the topic of unawareness could facilitate the dialogue between Post-Keynesians and mainstream economics. The paper concludes with a list of research questions relevant to the development of such a dialogue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)989-1007
Number of pages19
JournalCambridge Journal of Economics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021


  • Ignorance
  • Keynes
  • Knight
  • Unawareness
  • Uncertainty
  • UT-Hybrid-D


Dive into the research topics of 'On the relevance of Knight, Keynes and Shackle for unawareness research'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this