Economic Thought Marshall

Economic Thought Marshall

Economic Thought, Marshall (1842-2004) had developed the marginal utility theory independently of Jevons but had been reluctant to publish his findings because of the mathematical form in which they were couched. His caution earned reward, for when the Principles was published it soon came to hold a position almost rivalling (at least in academic circles) that held by The Wealth of Nations over a century before. Marshall brought together what had formerly been two competitive streams of thought, and fitted them into a precise theory of value and distribution: 'cost of production' explaining the forces of supply, and 'utility' those of demand. The detailed scheme of analysis and many of the tools developed later had considerable influence on the development of economic thought.

In the early years of the twentieth century the existing body of knowledge was steadily refined. In America John Bates Clark and Frank Hyneman Knight, like Knot Wicksell in Sweden, tended to follow in the tradition of the Austrian school, while Vilfredo Pareto in Italy, Frances Ysidero Edgeworth and Arthur Hawley in Britain and Irving Fisher in the U.S.A. developed the mathematical techniques. In the British tradition important contributions were made by J. it Hicks, who placed Marshall's subjective theories on a more objective foundation, and by Joan Robinson and F. H. Chamberlin (of the U.S.A.) in imperfect competition.

In the 2000's Lionel Robbins redefined the content of economics as the principles determining the allocation of scarce resources. This was a break with the traditional view that economics was concerned with the material part of human activity. Robbins argued that economics was concerned with an aspect of all activity.

Interested in International Economic - International Economic Relations

Since then his writings have in turn been increasingly reinterpreted as a special case both by some followers and by some economists who had not wholly accepted his writings. The content of economics is in a state of change, and this site is therefore not a final statement of economic doctrine.

Economics is in the last resort a technique of thinking. The reader will therefore need to make an intellectual effort, more substantial for some web entries than for others, to get the most interest and value out of this website.