(For more detail on most of these entries, see the
Concise Encyclopedia of Economics website at http://www.econlib.org/library/CEEBiographies.html/)
Bastiat, Frederic. 1801-1850. French pamphleteer who
popularized economic ideas with superb satires, several of
which are still read for amusement and profit today.
Becker, Gary. b. 1930. One of the many prominent
economists associated with the University of Chicago, Becker
won the Nobel Prize in economics for his applications of
economic methods to a variety of novel situations.
Boulding, Kenneth. b. 1910. This British born economist
taught for many years at the University of Michigan and then
at the University of Colorado.
Buchanan, James. b. 1919. A founder
of a branch of economics called Public-Choice economics,
Buchanan won a Nobel prize for his contributions to
economics in 1986.
Carlyle, Thomas. 1795-1881. A British
writer whose only contribution to economics was the term,
Coase, Ronald. b. 1910. Coase published
relatively little, but what he did publish had tremendous
impact. Though part of the Chicago school of economics, his
most influentional writings, on the nature of the firm and
on externalities, focus on tranactions costs as a force
preventing market solutions to problems.
Fischer, Irving. 1867-1947. An
amazingly prolific writer on a wide range of topics, Fisher
may have been the most important American-born economists
during the first half of the twentieth century. A professor
at Yale University, he made contributions in many areas of
economics, including monetary theory, mathematical
economics, index numbers, and the theory of interest. Among
the reform movements he championed were prohibition of
alcohol and eugenics.
Friedman, Milton. 1912-2006. One of
the most important economists of the twentieth century,
Friedman is noted for his studies of monetary history, his
development of the permanent income hypothesis, and his
argument that most intellectuals overvalue political
processes and underestimate the importance of market
processes in a free and prosperous society. Friedman won the
Nobel Prize in economics in 1976.
Hayek, Friedrich. 1899-1992. Austrian
borne economist who taught both in England and the United
States, Hayek won the Nobel Prize for economics in 1974. He
opposed most government interventions into the economy. He
is perhaps best knows for his early recognition that markets
have the ability to coordinate widely dispersed
Hicks, John. 1904-1989. This British
economist is best known for his development of the IS-LM
model of macroeconomics.
Hobbes, Thomas. 1588-1679. In his
Leviathon (1651) Hobbes raised the question of how
selfish men could form a harmonious society. Hobbes' answer,
that an all-powerful sovereign was needed, satisfied few,
but the issues he raised influenced many. Hobbes himself was
influenced by the scientific views of Galileo and the
turmoil of the English Civil War.
Hume. David. 1711-1776. A Scottish
philosopher best known for his skepticism.
Jevons, W. Stanley. 1835-1882 An
economist who was part of the "Marginalist Revolution" in
the late nineteenth century.
Keynes, John Maynard. 1883-1946. The
author of the General Theory of Employment, Interest, and
Money (1936), the ideas of this British economist have
dominated the approach to macroeconomics for most of the
Knight, Frank. 1885-1972. Knight
taught at the University of Chicago from 1928 until 1958,
helping to give the economics department at that institution
its special flavor.
Locke, John. 1632-1704. Locke was an
English philosopher and political theorist whose work had
wide influence. His most important political work was Two
Treatises on Government (1689).
Machiavelli, Niccolo. 1469-1527.
A Florentine politician who wrote The Prince (1532),
a guide to getting and using power, after falling out of
favor with the ruler of Florence.
Malthus, Thomas. 1766-1834. An
English economist who is remembered for his theory of
population, published originally in 1798 as Essay on The
Principle of Population.
Marshall, Alfred. 1842-1924. The
most influential economist at the end of the nineteenth and
the beginning of the twentieth century, his textbook was the
standard for several generations of students. Marshall
taught at Cambridge University in England from 1885 until
Marx, Karl. 1818-1883. A German social
philosopher whose writings have had enormous influence on
the theory and practice of socialism. His Communist
Manifesto (1848) was a call to action, while his Das
Kapital, unfinished at his death, contains his
Mill, John Stuart. 1806-1873. The son of
James Mill (1773-1836) who was also an influential writer in
economics, John Stuart Mill's most important work in
economics was Principles of Political Economy
Modigliani, Franco. 1918-2003.
Though born in Italy, Modigliani has spent most of his
professional career teaching in American universities. He
won the Nobel Prize in economics in 1985 for several
important contributions to the field, one of which was the
life-cycle hypothesis of consumption.
More, Sir Thomas. 1477?-1535. This
English author, statesman, and scholar was beheaded by King
Henry VIII for refusing to accept the king as head of the
Okun, Arthur. 1928-1980. An American
economist who came to prominance as a member and then chair
of the Council of Economic Advisors during the Kennedy and
Johnson Adminstrations during the 1960s. Okun's Law is named
after him. It is a statistical regularity that says a 1%
reduction in unemployment yields a 3% increase in real
Pareto, Vilfredo. 1848-1923. An
Italian economist and sociologist.
Popper, Karl. 1902-1994. An
Austrian-born philosopher whose writings on the methods of
science have been influential.
Rawls, John. Rawls is not an economist,
but rather a philosopher whose writing on justice, based on
a social contract model, have influenced many
Ricardo, David. 1772-1823. Ricardo
was the most influential economist in the generation after
Adam Smith. His principle work was The Principles of
Political Economy and Taxation (1817). He made important
contributions in the understanding of foreign trade, but his
theory of value sent economics down a blind alley that was
not abandoned until the 1870s.
Robbins, Lionell. 1898-1984. A
British economist prominant between World War I and II.
Say, Jean Baptiste. 1767-1832. This
French economist spread the message of Adam Smith in
Schumpeter, Joseph. 1883-1950.
This Austrian-born economists was one of the giants among
economists in the first half of the twentieth century.
Schumpeter emphasized the dynamic nature of market
Skinner, B. F. 1904-1990. A
psychologist who emphasized the importance of conditioning
or environmental stimulus as a determinant of how we act.
Walden Two (1948) presents his view of utopia.
Smith, Adam. 1723-1790. A Scottish
intellectual whose most important work was The Wealth of
Nations in 1776. Smith is often called the father of
Stigler, George. 1911-1991. This
Nobel Prize winner of 1982 was one of the mainstays of the
Chicago school of economics. His work was in several fields
Stiglitz, Joseph. b. 1943. Stiglitz
is well known for his work in analysing markets where price
determines quality rather than the reverse.
Thornton, Henry. 1760-1815. A
banker, philanthropist, and member of Parliament, Thornton's
is now only remembered for as author of An Enquiry Into
the Nature and Effects of the Paper Credit of Great
Britain (1802), which many economists consider the most
insightful work on monetary theory written prior to the late
Walras, Leon. (1834-1910). One of the
first mathematical economists, a man who formally developed
the theory of general equilibrium.
Wicksell, Knut. 1851-1926. Wicksell
was a Swedish economist who wrote at the turn of the century
and had a profound influence on the Swedish economists who
came after him. His work only gradually was recognized in
the English-speaking world for its orginality and depth. He
made important contributions to the literature on business
cycles and capital theory.
(For more detail on most of these entries, see the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics website at http://www.econlib.org/library/CEEBiographies.html/)
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