The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

Living Edition
| Editors: Palgrave Macmillan


  • John Wood
Living reference work entry


Since olden times, princes, powers and potentates with widely differing economic backgrounds have availed themselves of advisers and advisory services of various kinds. Advisers sometimes assumed such positions of power and influence that, due either to their expertise or to their influence over the decisions of their employers, they became virtual rulers of a State. Father Joseph’s influence over Cardinal Richelieu was such that he became known as the ‘Eminence grise’, a term that became part of English usage. At the other end of the scale, monarchs would sometimes make use of court jesters and buffoons to advise them on public opinion judged from the reactions to the jesters’ gibes and jokes.

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  1. Jöhr, W.A., and H.W. Singer. 1955. The role of the economist as official adviser. London: George Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Wood
    • 1
  1. 1.