Advertisement

Lionel Robbins and Scarcity

Chapter
  • 371 Downloads

Abstract

Disturbed by what he considered to be a lack of central focus to the work of practicing economists, Lionel Robbins dismissed a number of competing definitions for economics offered by economists for being flawed in one way or another, mainly in terms of their general applicability to all that economists do. He proposed that across economists’ various investigations, one concern was at the foundation of all economic inquiries, the inevitable conflict that emerges whenever the available resources could not satisfy all demands. He argued that in order for people to achieve maximum welfare, they had to choose and behave “purposively.” Along the way, Robbins excluded matters of valuations as outside the domain of economics, and put such matters within psychology, which he considered a lesser discipline. He also opined against laboratory experimentation, because laboratories were artificial environments, intentionally so, for developing economic generalizations.

References

  1. Buchanan, James M., and Gordon Tulloch. 1962. The Calculus of Consent: Logical Foundations of Constitutional Democracy. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  2. Buchanan, James M. 1975. The Limits of Liberty: Between Anarchy and Leviathan. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  3. Mill, John Stuart. 1848. Principles of Political Economy, ed. William James Ashley, 1909: London: Longmans, Green and Co. Available from https://www.econlib.org/library/Mill/mlP1.html.
  4. Robbins, Lionel. 1935. An Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science. Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Misses Institute (first published in 1932 and revised and reissued in 2007).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Paul Merage School of BusinessUniversity of California, IrvineIrvineUSA

Personalised recommendations