Arthur Lyon Bowley (1869–1957)

  • Adrian DarnellEmail author


Arthur Bowley was a pioneer in the quantitative study of social phenomena; he was an economic statistician of the highest rank and his work in mathematical economics and econometrics was path-breaking. His interest in the social sciences was always practical, and his theoretical work, most notably in statistical sampling, was motivated by the need to answer material questions. Bowley’s development of quantitative and statistical approaches to the social sciences, and his adherence to the highest of standards, ensured the quality of his work. His legacy, through his research, his scholarly textbooks and the many students whom he taught and influenced, is profound. He was a modest man with little to be modest about.


Economic statistics Wages and national income Statistical theory Sampling Mathematical economics Econometrics 


Main Works by Arthur Lyon Bowley

  1. Allen, R.G.D. and A.L. Bowley (1935). Family Expenditure: A Study of Its Variation. London: P.S. King.Google Scholar
  2. Bowley, A.L. (1893). A Short Account of England’s Foreign Trade in the Nineteenth Century. London: Swann Sonnenschein. Third edition, 1922, Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar
  3. Bowley, A.L. (1895). ‘Changes in Average Wages (Nominal and Real) in the United Kingdom between 1860 and 1891’ and ‘Discussion’. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, 58(2): 223–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bowley, A.L. (1897). ‘Relations Between the Accuracy of an Average and That of Its Constituent Parts’. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, 60(4): 855–866.Google Scholar
  5. Bowley, A.L. (1898–1906). ‘The Statistics of Wages in the United Kingdom During the Last Hundred Years’ (14 parts). Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Part I: 61(4): 702–722; Part I (continued): 62(1): 140–150; Part III: 62(2): 395–404; Part IV: 62(3): 555–570; Part V (with G.H. Wood): 62(4): 708–715; Part VI: 63(2): 297–315; Part VII: 63(3): 485–497; Part VIII: 64(1): 102–112; Part IX: 65(1): 102–126; Part X (with G.H. Wood): 68(1): 104–137; Part XI: 68(2): 373–391; Part XII: 68(3): 563–614; Part XIII (with G.H. Wood): 68(4): 704–715; Part XIV (with G.H. Wood): 69(1): 148–192.Google Scholar
  6. Bowley, A.L. (1899). ‘Wages, Nominal and Real’. In R.H. Inglis Palgrave (ed.) Dictionary of Political Economy, Volume 3. London: Macmillan: 639–641.Google Scholar
  7. Bowley, A.L. (1901). Elements of Statistics. London: P.S. King. Sixth edition, 1937.Google Scholar
  8. Bowley, A.L. (1904). Statistical Studies Relating to National Progress in Wealth and Trade Since 1882. London: P.S. King.Google Scholar
  9. Bowley, A.L. (1906). ‘Address to the Economic Science and Statistics Section of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, York, 1906’. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, 69(3): 540–558.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bowley, A.L. (1908). ‘The Improvement of Official Statistics’. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, 71(3): 459–495.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bowley, A.L. (1910). An Elementary Manual of Statistics. London: Macdonald & Evans. Seventh edition, 1951.Google Scholar
  12. Bowley, A.L. (1913a). ‘Working-Class Households in Reading’. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, 76(7): 672–701.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bowley, A.L. (1913b). A General Course of Pure Mathematics from Indices to Solid Analytical Geometry. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  14. Bowley, A.L. (1915). The Nature and Purpose of the Measurement of Social Phenomena. London: P.S. King. Second edition, 1923.Google Scholar
  15. Bowley, A.L. (1921a). Prices and Wages in the United Kingdom, 1914–1920. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  16. Bowley, A.L. (1921b). ‘Recent Official Statistical Publications’. Economica, 3: 302–306.Google Scholar
  17. Bowley, A.L. (1922). ‘The Definition of National Income’. Economic Journal, 32(125): 1–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Bowley, A.L. (1924). The Mathematical Groundwork of Economics. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  19. Bowley, A.L. (1926). ‘Measurement of the Precision Attained in Sampling’. Bulletin de I’institut International de Statistique, 22(supplement to Book 1): 1–62.Google Scholar
  20. Bowley, A.L. (1928). F.Y. Edgeworth’s Contributions to Mathematical Statistics. London: Royal Statistical Society.Google Scholar
  21. Bowley, A.L. (1934). ‘Francis Ysidro Edgeworth’. Econometrica, 2(2): 113–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Bowley, A.L. (1937). Wages and Income in the United Kingdom Since 1860. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Bowley, A.L. and A.R. Burnett-Hurst. (1915). Livelihood and Poverty. London: Bell.Google Scholar
  24. Bowley, A.L. and M.H. Hogg. (1925). Has Poverty Diminished? London: P.S. King.Google Scholar
  25. Bowley, A.L. and J. Stamp. (1927). The National Income, 1924. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar

Other Works Referred To

  1. Allen, R.G.D. and R.F. George (1957). ‘Professor Sir Arthur Lyon Bowley: November 6th, 1869–January 21st, 1957’. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, 120(2): 236–241.Google Scholar
  2. Bowley, A.H. (1972). A Memoir of Professor Sir Arthur Lyon Bowley, 1869–1957 and His Family. Petworth, Sussex: Pennygate.Google Scholar
  3. Bowley, M. (1972). ‘Review of Lord Robbin’s Autobiography of an Economist’. Economic Journal, 82(326): 808–810.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Burchardt, F.A. and G.D.N. Worswick (1957). ‘Sir Arthur Lyon Bowley’. Bulletin of the Oxford Institute of Statistics, 19(1): 1–2.Google Scholar
  5. Cournot, A. (1927). Researches into the Mathematical Principles of the Theory of Wealth. New York: Macmillan. French edition, 1838.Google Scholar
  6. Dale, A.I. and S. Kotz (2011). Arthur Lyon Bowley, A Pioneer in Modern Statistics and Economics. Singapore: World Scientific.Google Scholar
  7. Darnell, A.C. (1981). ‘A.L. Bowley, 1869–1957’. Chapter 5 in D.P. O’Brien and J.R. Presley (ed.) Pioneers of Modern Economics in Britain. London: Macmillan: 140–174.Google Scholar
  8. Darnell, A.C. (1982). ‘Bowley, Wicksell and the Development of Mathematical Economics’. Scottish Journal of Political Economy, 29(2): 156–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Darnell, A.C. (1991). ‘Introduction’. In A.C. Darnell (ed.) Early Mathematical Economics. Volume 1. London: Pickering and Chatto: xvii–xxxi.Google Scholar
  10. Edgeworth, F.Y. (1881). Mathematical Psychics: An Essay on the Application of Mathematics to the Moral Sciences. London: Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  11. Edgeworth, F.Y. (1924). ‘Review of The Mathematical Groundwork of Economics, by A.L. Bowley’. Economic Journal, 34(135): 430–434.Google Scholar
  12. Evans, G.C. (1930). Mathematical Introduction to Economics. London: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  13. Fisher, R.A. (1935). ‘The Logic of Inductive Inference’. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, 98(1): 39–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hardy, G.H. (1914). ‘Review of A General Course of Pure Mathematics, by A.L. Bowley’. The Cambridge Review, XXXV(879): 394.Google Scholar
  15. Hayek, F.A. (1946). ‘The London School of Economics 1895–1945’. Economica, New Series, 13(49): 1–31.Google Scholar
  16. Jensen, A. (1926). ‘Report on the Representative Method in Statistics’. Bulletin de l’institut International de Statistique, 22(1): 359–380.Google Scholar
  17. Lindahl, E. (ed.) (1958). Knut Wicksell: Selected Papers on Economic Theory. London: George Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
  18. Marshall, A. (1923). Money, Credit, and Commerce. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  19. Maunder, W.F. (1972). Sir Arthur Lyon Bowley. Inaugural Lecture. Exeter: University of Exeter.Google Scholar
  20. Neyman, J. (1934). ‘On the Two Different Aspects of the Representative Method: The Method of Stratified Sampling and the Method of Purposive Selection’ and ‘Discussion’. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, 97(4): 558–625.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. O’Brien, D.P. (1981). ‘A. Marshall, 1842–1924’. Chapter 2 in D.P. O’Brien and J.R. Presley (ed.) Pioneers of Modern Economics in Britain. London: Macmillan: 36–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Pareto, V. (1906). Manuale di Economia Politica. Milan: Societa Editrice Libraria.Google Scholar
  23. Pigou, A.C. (ed.) (1966). Memorials of Alfred Marshall. New York: Kelley.Google Scholar
  24. Pollak, H.P. (1938). ‘Review of Wages and Income in the United Kingdom Since 1860, by A.L. Bowley’. South African Journal of Economics, 6(1): 79–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Robbins, L. (1971). Autobiography of an Economist. London: Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Samuelson, P.A. (1964). Economics. Sixth edition. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  27. Stigler, S.M. (1978). ‘Francis Ysidro Edgeworth, Statistician’. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, 141(3): 287–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Tappan, M. (1925). ‘Review of The Mathematical Groundwork of Economics, by A.L. Bowley’. Economica, 15: 334–338.Google Scholar
  29. Wicksell, K. (1925). ‘Matematisk Nationalekonomi’. Ekonomisk Tidskrift, 27(4/5): 103–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Young, A.A. (1925). ‘Review of The Mathematical Groundwork of Economics, by A.L. Bowley’. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 20(149): 133–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Durham University Business SchoolDurhamUK

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