The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Jevons, William Stanley (1835–1882)

  • Harro Maas
Reference work entry


This article examines William Stanley Jevons’s life and work against the background of Victorian disputes over the appropriate method of political economy. Jevons is commonly known as one of the founders of marginalist analysis in economics. As a genuine Victorian polymath, Jevons undertook research in many different fields of the sciences, meteorology, statistics and political economy in particular. This article shows how Jevons transposed his training in the natural sciences to political economy, in the process shifting from a labour to a utility theory of value and mathematizing the discipline as well.


Bentham, J. Boole, G. Cairnes, J. E. D’Avenant, C. De Morgan, A. Equation of exchange Felicific calculus Functional analysis Hedonic theory of value Index numbers Induction Jenkin, H. C. F. Jevons, W. S. King, G. Labour supply Labour theory of value Marginal revolution Mathematical methods in political economy Mill, J. S. Political economy Productive and unproductive labour Psychophysiology Quantity theory of money Quetelet, A. Statistics, and economics Tendency laws Tooke, T. Utility Value Wages fund whewell, W. 

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harro Maas
    • 1
  1. 1.