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Encyclopedia > Lionel Robbins

Lionel Charles Robbins, Baron Robbins (1898 - 1984) was a British economist of the 20th century who proposed one of the early contemporary definitions of economics, "Economics is a science which studies human behavior as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses." 1898 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... 1984 is a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... U.S. Economic Calendar Economics at the Open Directory Project Economics textbooks on Wikibooks The Economists Economics A-Z Institutions and organizations Bureau of Labor Statistics - from the American Labor Department Center for Economic and Policy Research (USA) National Bureau of Economic Research (USA) - Economics material from the organization...

Lionel Robbins differed from many Englishman in the economics world of the 1920s: he was not a Marshallian but rather a follower of William Stanley Jevons and Philip Wicksteed. He had also actually read the Continental European economists - Léon Walras, Vilfredo Pareto, Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, Friedrich von Wieser and Knut Wicksell. As a result of his Jevonian, Lausanne, Austrian and Swedish influences, Lord Robbins was instrumental in shifting the train of Anglo-Saxon economics off its Marshallian rails and onto Continental ones. Sometimes referred to as the Jazz Age or primarily in North America as the Roaring Twenties. // Events and trends Since the closing of the 20th Century, the 1920s has drawn close associations with the 1990s, and particularly in the United States. ... Alfred Marshall Alfred Marshall (July 26, 1842–July 13, 1924), born in Bermondsey, London, England, became one of the most influential economists of his time. ... William Stanley Jevons (September 1, 1835 - August 13, 1882), English economist and logician, was born in Liverpool. ... Philip Wicksteed (October 25, 1844 - March 18, 1927) was an English economist closely associated with the Austrian School. ... Marie-Ésprit-Léon Walras (December 16, 1834 in Évreux, France - January 5, 1910 in Clarens, near Montreux, Switzerland) was a French economist, considered by Joseph Schumpeter as the greatest of all economists. He was a mathematical economist associated with the creation of the general equilibrium theory. ... Vilfredo Pareto (born July 15, 1848 in France - died August 19, 1923 in Lausanne, Switzerland) made several important contributions to economics, sociology and moral philosophy, especially in the study of income distribution and in the analysis of individuals choices. ... Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk (February 12, 1851 - August 27, 1914) made important contributions to the development of Austrian economics. ... Friedrich von Wieser Friedrich von Wieser (July 10, 1851 - July 22, 1926) was an early member of the Austrian School of economics. ... Johan Gustaf Knut Wicksell, (December 20, 1851-May 3, 1926), Swedish economist. ...

His tools were the London School of Economics and a famous 1932 essay on economic methodology. Succeeding the unfortunate Allyn Young to the chair of the L.S.E. in 1929, the thirty-year old Robbins proceeded quickly. Among his first appointments was Friedrich A. Hayek, who bred a new generation of English-speaking "continentals" such as John Hicks, Nicholas Kaldor, Lerner and Scitovsky. The London School of Economics and Political Science, often referred to as the London School of Economics or simply the LSE, is a specialist university based in London, often regarded as the worlds most prestigious social science institution with unrivalled diversity. ... Allyn Abbott Young (1876—1929), celebrated American economist, was born into a middle_class family in Kenton, Ohio on September 19, 1876 and died aged 52 in London on March 7, 1929, his life cut short by pneumonia during an influenza epidemic. ... Friedrich Hayek Friedrich August von Hayek (May 8, 1899 – March 23, 1992) was an economist and social scientist of the Austrian School, noted for his defense of free-market capitalism against a rising tide of socialist thought in the mid-20th century. ... Sir John Richard Hicks (April 8, 1904 - May 20, 1989) was one of the most important and influential economists of the twentieth century. ... Nicholas Kaldor (Budapest, 1908 - Papworth Everard, Cambridgeshire, 1986) was the foremost Cambridge economist in the post-war period. ...

Robbins's early essays were very combative in spirit, stressing the subjectivist theory of value beyond what Anglo-Saxon economics had been used to. His famous work on costs (1930, 1934) helped bring Wieser's "alternative cost" theorem of supply to England (which was opposed to Marshall's "real cost" theory of supply). His critique of the Marshallian theory of the representative firm (1928), and his critique of the Pigovian Welfare Economics (1932, 1938), helped put an end to the Marshallian empire -- aided and abetted (and occasionally thwarted) every step of the way by his kindred spirit across the pond, Frank Knight. Frank Hyneman Knight (November 7, 1885 - April 15, 1972) was an important economist in the first half of the twentieth century. ...

It was his 1932 Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science where Robbins made his Continental credentials clear. Redefining the scope of economics to be "the science which studies human behavior as a relationship between scarce means which have alternative uses" (Robbins, 1932). His defense of a priori theory and attack on Marshallian intuitionism is reminiscent of von Mises's essay. Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises (September 29, 1881 - October 10, 1973), was a notable economist and social philosopher. ...

Robbins was initially opposed to Keynes's General Theory. His 1934 treatise on the Great Depression is an exemplary Neoclassical analysis of that period. Indeed, Robbins always saw his L.S.E. as a bulwark against Cambridge, whether it was populated by Marshallians or Keynesians. However, he was eventually to recant and accept the Keynesian Revolution. John Maynard Keynes John Maynard Keynes [ˈkeɪns], 1st Baron Keynes of Tilton (June 5, 1883 - April 21, 1946) was an English economist, whose radical ideas had a major impact on modern economic and political thought. ... This article is about the worldwide economic crisis of the 1930s; for other uses of the term, see The Great Depression (disambiguation). ...

In the latter part of his life, Robbins turned to the history of economic thought, publishing various classic studies on English doctrinal history. Although the ascendancy of the L.S.E. is foremost among his legacies, Robbins is also greatly responsible for the modern British university system - having advocated its massive expansion in the 1960s. The 1960s, or The Sexy Sixties, in its most obvious sense refers to the decade between 1960 and 1969, but the expression has taken on a wider meaning over the past twenty years. ...

External link

  • Biography at LSE website

  Results from FactBites:
Lionel Robbins (542 words)
Lionel Robbins was a peculiar Englishman in the economics world of the 1920s for a very simple reason: he was not a Marshallian but rather a follower of Jevons and Wicksteed.
Robbins was initially opposed to Keynes's General Theory.
Indeed, Robbins always saw his L.S.E. as a bulwark against Cambridge, whether it was populated by Marshallians or Keynesians.
  More results at FactBites »



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