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A. Marshall, 1842–1924

  • D. P. O’Brien

Abstract

The main facts of Marshall’s life are well-known, and are set out in the very fine account given by Keynes who worked from material supplied by Mrs Marshall.1 Alfred Marshall was born on 26 July 1842. Rebelling against a parental preference for classics and the Church, he went to St. John’s College, Cambridge, read mathematics, and graduated as Second Wrangler in 1865. A period spent as a Fellow of St John’s led him to economics and to marriage with Mary Paley, one of the pioneer women undergraduates at Cambridge. The years 1877–82 were spent at Bristol University College, chiefly as its principal. After a short spell at Oxford, Marshall was elected to the Chair of Political Economy at Cambridge, taking up the post in January 1885 and holding it until his retirement in 1908 when he was followed by his chosen successor A. C. Pigou. Greatly revered as the leading economist in the Anglo-Saxon world he died on 13 July 1924.

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Marginal Utility Consumer Surplus Demand Curve Purchasing Power Parity Cash Holding 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    J. M. Keynes, ‘Alfred Marshall, 1842–1924’, in A. C. Pigou (ed.), Memorials of Alfred Marshall (London: Macmillan, 1925) [hereafter cited as Mems.] pp. 1–65.Google Scholar
  2. Reprinted with minor alterations in J. M. Keynes, Essays in Biography (London: Macmillan, 1933), repr. as vol. X of The Collected Writings of John May nard Keynes (London: Macmillan for the Royal Economic Society, 1972).Google Scholar
  3. Further biographical material is to be found in J. K. Whitaker (ed.), The Early Economic Writings of Alfred Marshall, 1867–1890, vol. I (New York: Free Press, 1975) [hereafter the two volumes of this work will be cited as Wh.I and Wh.II], and in journal articles by Professor Whitaker cited therein.Google Scholar
  4. 3.
    A. Marshall, Money, Credit and Commerce (London: Macmillan, 1923) [hereafter cited as MC&C] pp. 210, 245.Google Scholar
  5. 4.
    Mems., pp. 74–80; C. W. Guillebaud, ‘Some Personal Reminiscences of Alfred Marshall’, History of Political Economy [hereafter cited as HOPE], in (1971) 1–8; B. Webb, My Apprenticeship (London: Longmans, 1926) p. 314.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    See, in particular, his unusually caustic comment about Böhm-Bawerk in a letter to Wicksell, reproduced in T. Garlund, The Life of Knut Wicksell, trans. N. Adler (Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell, 1958) pp. 342–3, and his defence of J. S. Mill in Mems., pp. 119–33.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    A. Marshall, Principles of Economics, 1890, 9th (variorum) edn, ed. C. W. Guillebaud (London: Macmillan, 1961) vol. I, pp. ix–x, 522–3, 723–34; vol. II, pp. 617, 764, 782 [hereafter the two volumes will be cited as G.I and G.II]; Wh.I, pp. 39–40, 48, 69 and passim; Wh.II, pp. 178–204, 240–52, 302–5 and passim (the two Whitaker volumes contain much excellent material on Marshall’s sources); Mems., p. 165.Google Scholar
  8. 9.
    J. A. Schumpeter, History of Economic Analysis (London: Allen & Unwin, 1955) p. 780.Google Scholar
  9. 11.
    A. Marshall, Industry and Trade (London: Macmillan, 1919; repr. New York: A. M. Kelley, 1970) [hereafter cited as I&T] pp. v. 5. 6; Mems., p. 423; Wh.I, p. 110.Google Scholar
  10. 14.
    Mems., pp. 175–87, 301, 324, 358–9, 422, 429, 438–9, 474–5; J. M. Keynes (ed.), Alfred Marshall Official Papers (London: Macmillan for the Royal Economic Society, 1926) [hereafter cited as OP] pp. 284–8.Google Scholar
  11. 15.
    G.II, pp.72, 534–6; Mems., p. 437; I&T, pp. 449–50n; see also Wh.II, pp. 118, 129; R. H. Coase, ‘Marshall on Method’, Journal of Law and Economics, XVIII (1975) 25–32;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  13. 22.
    Mems., pp. 164–5; A. Marshall and M. P. Marshall, The Economics of Industry (London: Macmillan, 1879; 2nd edn, 1881) [hereafter cited as EI] pp. 3–4;Google Scholar
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  15. 35.
    G.I, pp. 467–75, 489–93, 811; see also Wh.II, pp. 72, 285–302; K. Bharadwaj, ‘Marshall on Pigou’s Wealth and Welfare’, Economica, XXXIX (1972) 32–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 41.
    G.I, pp. 150–2, 153, 157, 163, 166, 169–72, 319n, 355, 407–9; G.II, p. 358. See also C. J. Bullock, ‘The Variation of Productive Forces’, Quarterly Journal of Economics [hereafter cited as QJE], XVI (1901–2) 473–513.Google Scholar
  17. 47.
    G.I, pp. 285–6, 315–17, 323, 342–3, 378, 457–9; G.II, pp. 69–70. See also R. Frisch, ‘Alfred Marshall’s Theory of Value’, QJE, LXIV (1950) 495–524 at pp. 512–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 48.
    G.I, pp. 5–12, 374, 458, 500–1, 540–1, 849–50; G.II, pp.75, 411–12, 569, 573–4; I&T, p. 182. See also G.J. Stigler, ‘Perfect Competition, Historically Contemplated’, Journal of Political Economy [hereafter cited as JPE], LVX (1957) 1–17 at pp. 9–10; ibid., ‘Marshall’s Principles after Guillebaud’, JPE, LXX (1962) 282–6 at p. 282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 49.
    G.I, pp. 341–2, 412, 425–6; I&T, p. 397. See also S. Stykolt, ‘A Curious Case of Neglect: Marshall on the Tangency Solution’, Canadian Journal of Economics [hereafter cited as CJE], XXII (1956) who cites G.I, p. 616 n. 3;Google Scholar
  20. G. Gerbier, Alfred Marshall. Théoricien de l’action efficace et critique radical de l’économie pure (Doctoral thesis, Grenoble, 1976) p. 409. (I am indebted to Professor A. W. Coats who kindly lent me this excellent thesis.)Google Scholar
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  23. 56.
    G.I, pp. 455–7, 807–10; I&T, pp. 107–8n; Mems., pp. 439–41; Wh.II, pp. 184–5, 190, 193; see also P. Newman, ‘The Erosion of Marshall’s Theory of Value’, QJE, LXXIV (1960) 587–601 at pp. 589–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 59.
    G.I, pp. 330–6, 345, 348, 369–72, 378–80, 805–9; G.II, pp. 361–3; EI, pp.vii, 158; Wh.I, pp. 119–64, esp. pp. 132, 143–4; P. Newman op. cit.; D. G. Davies, ‘A Note on Marshallian versus Walrasian Stability Conditions’, CJE, XXIX (1963) 535–40.Google Scholar
  25. 60.
    G.I, pp. 32–6, 337–50, 363, 366–9, 372; G.II, pp. 155–6, 380; EI, pp. vi-vii, 65–6, 77–8, 146–9; see also Mems., pp. 285–9, 342–6; C. W. Guillebaud, ‘Marshall’s Principles of Economics in the Light of Contemporary Economic Thought’, Economica, n.s., XIX (1952) 111–30 at p. 122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 61.
    G.I, pp. 337, 381–93, 852–6; G.II, p. 400; Wh.I, pp. 160–4; J. S. Mill, Principles of Political Economy, with Some of their Applications to Social Philosophy, (ed.) J. M. Robson (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1965) [hereafter cited as JSM] Book III, ch. XVI, pp. 582–6; Stigler, P&D, pp. 83–7.Google Scholar
  27. 63.
    The marginal note is at G.I, p. 536. For material relating to the rest of the paragraph see G.I, pp. 138, 140–1n, 357, 385, 387, 406, 407, 409n, 410–11, 447–9, 514–18, 521–3, 525–9, 532, 580–3, 598–600, 660–1, 670–1n, 678–9, 704–6, 822–9, 846–54; G.II, pp. 39–41, 232–3, 580–1, 598–614, 818–19. 822–7; EI, pp. 13–20, 22–3, 72–3, 95–6, 119–27, 131, 133–4, 142–3, 146–9, 199–213; Ind. Rem., pp. 186, 194; Mems., pp. 161, 405, 412–14; Wh.I, pp. 43, 70, 73–6, 81, 96, 120, 129, 178–204; Wh.II, pp. 322–33; Lecture 2 (pp. 191–200) of ‘Three Lectures on Progress and Poverty by Alfred Marshall’ (ed. G. J. Stigler and R. Coase), JPE, LVIII (1950) 181–226 [hereafter cited as P&P]; Stigler, P&D, pp. 344–56 passim; J. K. Whitaker, ‘The Marshallian System in 1881: Distribution and Growth’, EI, LXXXIV (1974) 1–17 at pp. 3–4, 5, 15–16.Google Scholar
  28. 66.
    G.I, pp. 5–10, 684–5, 693–700, 702–8, 714–15; I&T, pp. 289–307, 577–98, 854–6; EI, pp. 102, 128–9, 175–7, 187, 228; Wh.II, pp.112, 126–7, 345–52; Mems., pp. 113–14, 227–53, 384–6, 396–9, 402–3; Ind. Rem., p. 182; Lecture 3 of P&P, pp. 200–10; Preface to L. L. F. R. Price, Industrial Peace: Its Advantages, Methods, and Difficulties: A Report of an Inquiry made for the Toynbee Trustees (London: Macmillan, 1887) pp. xi–xiii, xviii, xxii, xxv; Whitaker, EJ, op. cit.; ibid., ‘Alfred Marshall: The Years 1877 to 1885’, HOPE, IV (1972) 1–61, App. D, pp. 49–61;Google Scholar
  29. A. Petridis, ‘Alfred Marshall’s Attitudes to the Economic Analysis of Trade Unions: A Case of Anomalies in the Competitive System’, HOPE, V (1973) 165–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 73.
    G.I, pp. 229–30, 248, 625–8, 678–88, 712–15, 717–18, 843–4; EI, pp. 48, 113, 132, 145; Mems., pp. 162, 228–9, 324–5, 347–50, 366, 443, 462–3; preface to Price (n 66 above) p. ix; The Times, 18 January 1887; OP, pp. 249–50; A. Marshall, ‘National Taxation after the War’ in W. H. Dawson (ed.), After-war Problems (London: Allen & Unwin, 1917) pp. 313–45 [hereafter cited as NT] at pp. 317–29.Google Scholar
  31. 74.
    The quotation is from Mems., p. 312. For references relating to the rest of the paragraph, see G.I, pp. 49, 56–7, 59, 80–1, 220–39, 587, 675–8, 689–93, 749–52; EI, pp. 6, 13; I&T, p. 697; P&P, Lecture I, pp. 184–91; OP, pp. 402–12; Wh.II, p. 112; T. Parsons, ‘Wants and Activities in Marshall’, QJE, XLVI (1932) 101–40;Google Scholar
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  34. 76.
    G.I, pp. 173–203, 219, 243–8, 739–42; G.II, pp. 303–4; Ind. Rem., p. 198; EI, pp. 9, 27–37; J. J. Spengler,‘Marshall on the Population Question’, Population Studies, VIII, IX (1955) 264–87, 56–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 77.
    G.I, pp. 204–19, 229–30, 236, 560–6, 571, 619, 622, 660–1, 670–5, 681–4, 858; EI, p. 39 (see also pp. 10–11, 32); I&T, pp. 121–39, 356–7; Mems., pp. 117–18, 173; The Times, 3 March 1905 (15a-b), 29 November 1905 (4c), 18 December 1905 (13d), 29 December 1905 (5d). See also R. Blandy, ‘Marshall on Human Capital: A Note’, JPE, LXXV (1967) 874–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 90.
    MC&C, pp. 158–65, 167–76, 330–60; Wh.II, pp. 117–81; J. Bhagwati and H. G. Johnson, ‘Notes on Some Controversies in the Theory of International Trade’, EJ, LXX (1960) 74–93;Google Scholar
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  38. 92.
    MC&C, pp. 338–40; Wh.I, pp. 279–81; see also Bhagwati and Johnson, op. cit., and J. Viner, Studies in the Theory of International Trade (London: Allen & Unwin, 1964) [hereafter cited as Studies] pp. 570–5.Google Scholar
  39. 93.
    A. Marshall, The Pure Theory of Foreign Trade (repr., London: London School of Economics, 1930) [hereafter cited as PT] pp. 5–6, 13, 26–7 164–5; MC&C, pp. 338–40; Wh.II pp. 140, 164–5; to abbreviate secondary references, see the following and references therein: Viner, Studies, pp. 536–46 and 548–55; Bhagwati and Johnson, op. cit.;Google Scholar
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  41. 96.
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  42. 102.
    OP, p. 37; Wh.I, p. 164; E. Eshag, From Marshall to Keynes: An Essay on the Monetary Theory of the Cambridge School (Oxford: Blackwell, 1963) [hereafter cited as Eshag] pp. xiii, 16–18.Google Scholar
  43. 104.
    OP, pp. 5–6, 22. 24–7, 34–5. 37, 40, 115ff., 267–8; MC&C, pp. 42–3, 46–8, 282–4; H. Thornton in F. A. Hayek (ed.), An Enquiry into the Nature and Effects of the Paper Credit of Great Britain (1802) (London: Allen & Unwin, 1939) [hereafter cited as Thornton] pp. 96–100, 197n;Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© D. P. O’Brien and John R. Presley 1981

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  • D. P. O’Brien

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