The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Walker, Francis Amasa (1840–1897)

  • A. W. Coats
Reference work entry


Internationally the most widely known and esteemed American economist of his generation, Walker had a varied and distinguished public career. After obtaining his AB at Amherst in 1860, he studied law for one year before joining the Northern army and was successively a Civil War general, deputy to David A. Wells in the Budget Office, chief of the US Treasury’s Bureau of Statistics, Superintendent of the Census of 1870 and 1880, Professor of Political Economy and History at Yale’s Sheffield Scientific School, and also occasionally at Johns Hopkins, and President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1881–97. At home Walker was primarily known as an outstanding educational administrator and statistician, for he permanently raised the standards of government statistics, helped to create a permanent Bureau of the Census, and served as President of the American Statistical Association from 1882–97. Abroad, he was recognized more as an economic theorist, especially for his work on wages, money and currency policy.


Bimetallism Residual claimant theory of wages Wages fund Walker, F. A. 

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  1. Newton, B. 1968. The economics of Francis Amasa Walker: American economics in transition. New York: Kelley.Google Scholar

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. W. Coats
    • 1
  1. 1.