William Henry Beveridge (1879–1963)

  • Atsushi KomineEmail author


William Beveridge made at least three significant contributions to economics. Regarding his contributions to modern economic analysis, Beveridge set out a coherent diagnosis of industrial fluctuations based on empirical data and the latest theories on trade cycles. Regarding his contributions to professionalisation in economics, Beveridge helped form an international group at LSE and exhibited enthusiasm for (unsuccessful) attempts to create a renewed political economy. Beveridge served as the driving force for creating innovative ideas and was also the representative of a new type of economic thought: ‘management in bureaucracy’. In a sense, he served as a bridge, connecting the three different schools of economics (Oxford idealism, Cambridge practicality and LSE scientism and internationalism), which could in turn be sublimated into universal welfare ideas.


Security for all Modern theory of unemployment Peaceful, diligent and affluent society Professionalisation in economics Management in bureaucracy 


Main Works by William Henry Beveridge

  1. Beveridge, W.H. (1909). Unemployment: A Problem of Industry. London: Longmans, Green and Co.Google Scholar
  2. Beveridge, W.H. (1914a). ‘A Seventeenth-Century Labour Exchange’. Economic Journal, 24(95): 371–376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Beveridge, W.H. (1914b). ‘Review of Unemployment, by A.C. Pigou’. Economic Journal, 24(94): 250–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Beveridge, W.H. (1921a). ‘Weather and Harvest Cycles’. Economic Journal, 31(124): 429–452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Beveridge, W.H. (1921b). ‘Economics as a Liberal Education’. Economica, 1(January): 2–19.Google Scholar
  6. Beveridge, W.H. (1922). ‘Wheat Prices and Rainfall in Western Europe’. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, 85(3): 412–475.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Beveridge, W.H. (1923/1924). ‘An Economic General Staff 1/2’. The Nation and the Athenaeum, 29 December 1923: 485–486 and 5 January 1924: 509–510.Google Scholar
  8. Beveridge, W.H. (1924). Insurance for All and Everything. London: The Daily News Ltd.Google Scholar
  9. Beveridge, W.H. (1930). Unemployment: A Problem of Industry. London: Longmans, Green and Co. Revised edition of Beveridge (1909).Google Scholar
  10. Beveridge, W.H. (1931). Causes and Cures of Unemployment. London: Longmans, Green and Co.Google Scholar
  11. Beveridge, W.H. (1937). ‘The Place of the Social Sciences in Human Knowledge’. Politica, 2(9): 459–479.Google Scholar
  12. Beveridge, W.H. (1939). Prices and Wages in England: From the Twelfth to the Nineteenth Century. Volume 1. London: Longmans Green & Co.Google Scholar
  13. Beveridge, W.H. (1942). Social Insurance and Allied Services. Cmnd. 6404. London: HMSO.Google Scholar
  14. Beveridge, W.H. (1944). Full Employment in a Free Society. Cmnd. 6550. London: Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
  15. Beveridge, W.H. (1945). The Price of Peace. London: Pilot Press.Google Scholar
  16. Beveridge, W.H. (1948). Voluntary Action: A Report on Methods of Social Advance. London: Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
  17. Beveridge, W.H. (1953). Power and Influence. London: Hodder and Stoughton.Google Scholar
  18. Beveridge, W.H. (1960a). ‘Statisticians Sometimes Count’. The Incorporated Statistician, 10(3): 103–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Beveridge, W.H. (1960b). The London School of Economics and its Problems, 1919–1937. London: Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar

Other Works Referred To

  1. Backhouse, R.E. (2000). ‘Economics in Mid-Atlantic: British Economics, 1945–95’. Chapter 2 in A.W. Bob Coats (ed.) The Development of Economics in Western Europe since 1945. London and New York: Routledge: 49–83.Google Scholar
  2. Baillie, R.T. (1996). ‘Long Memory Processes and Fractional Integration in Econometrics’. Journal of Econometrics, 73(1): 5–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Besomi, D. (ed.) (2003). The Collected Interwar Papers and Correspondence of Roy Harrod. Volume 2. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  4. Beveridge, J. (1954). Beveridge and His Plan. London: Hodder and Stoughton.Google Scholar
  5. Blanchard, O.J. and Diamond, P.A. (1989). ‘The Beveridge Curve’. Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, 1989(1): 1–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Booth, A. and M. Pack (1985). Employment, Capital and Economic Policy: Great Britain, 1918–1939. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
  7. Casson, M. (1983). Economics of Unemployment: An Historical Perspective. Oxford: Martin Robertson.Google Scholar
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  9. Coats, A.W.B. and S.E. Coats (1970). ‘The Social Composition of the Royal Economic Society and the Beginnings of the British Economics “Profession”, 1890–1915’. British Journal of Sociology, 21(1): 75–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  17. Harris, J. (1997). William Beveridge: A Biography. Revised paperback edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Harris, J. (2008). ‘Beveridge, William Henry (1879–1963)’. In S.N. Durlauf and L.E. Blume (eds) The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. Second edition. Volume 1. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan: 482–483.Google Scholar
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  22. Komine, A. (2004). ‘The Making of Beveridge’s Unemployment [1909]: Three Concepts Blended’. European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 11(2): 255–280.Google Scholar
  23. Komine, A. (2010). ‘Beveridge on a Welfare Society: An Integration of His Trilogy’. Chapter 10 in R.E. Backhouse and T. Nishizawa (eds) No Wealth but Life: Welfare Economics and the Welfare State in Britain, 1880–1945. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 207–219.Google Scholar
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  25. Komine, A. (2016). ‘Beveridge and His Pursuit of an Ideal Economics: Why Did He Come to Accept Keynes’s Ideas?’. International Journal of Social Economics, 43(9): 917–930.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  34. Pigou, A.C. (1913). Unemployment. London: Home University Library.Google Scholar
  35. Pigou, A.C. (1954). ‘Review of Power and Influence, by Lord Beveridge’. Economica, New Series, 21(81): 73–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Robbins, L. (1932). An Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  37. Robbins, L. (1971). Autobiography of an Economist. London: Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Robertson, D.H. (1931). ‘Review of Unemployment: A Problem of Industry (1909 and 1930), by W.H. Beveridge’. Economic Journal, 41(161): 74–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Rodenburg, P. (2011). ‘The Remarkable Transformation of the UV Curve in Economic Theory’. European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 18(1): 125–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. The Economist (1963). ‘Beveridge: From the Cradle to the Grave’. 23 March: 1124.Google Scholar
  41. The Times (1963). ‘Obituary: Lord Beveridge, Architect of Social Security’. 18 March: 12.Google Scholar
  42. Titmuss, R.M. (1965). ‘The Role of Redistribution in Social Policy’. Social Security Bulletin, 28(6): 14–20.Google Scholar
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  44. UK Government (1944a). White Paper on Social Insurance. Part I, Cmnd. 6550. London: HMSO.Google Scholar
  45. UK Government (1944b). White Paper on Employment Policy. Cmnd. 6527. London: HMSO.Google Scholar
  46. Yashiv, E. (2008). ‘Beveridge Curve’. In S.N. Durlauf and L.E. Blume (eds) The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. Second edition. Volume 1. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan: 481–482.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ryukoku UniversityKyotoJapan

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