By P. Groenewegen

This succinct assessment of Marshall's lifestyles and paintings as an economist units his significant monetary contributions in point of view, by way of his schooling, his commute, his educating at Cambridge, Oxford and Bristol, his coverage perspectives as provided to govt inquiries and his political and social critiques.

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Extra info for Alfred Marshall: Economist 1842–1924

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Gradually, however, the increasing urgency of economic studies as a means towards human well-being grew upon me. About 1871–72, I told myself the time had come at which I must decide whether to give myself psychology or economics. I spent a year in doubt: always preferring psychology for the pleasures of the chase; but economics grew and grew in practical urgency, not so much in relation to the growth in wealth as to the quality of life: and I settled down to it. To this account, Mary Paley added a few pertinent details in 1924 for the benefit of Keynes and the obituary memoir of Marshall he was writing for the Economic Journal.

Marshall’s second philosophical paper confronted self-consciousness by examining Ferrier’s first ‘proposition’. This stated that ‘along with whatever any intelligence knows, it must, as the ground or condition of its knowledge, have some knowledge itself’. Marshall’s topic in this paper once again treated an aspect of the debate between idealists and associationists as well as that between Mill and Bain within the associationists camp, arising from their different emphases on the physiological and the psychological (Bain) as against the philosophical (Mill).

Mill’s most original chapters, moreover, particularly fascinated the young Marshall. These included Mill’s position of the laws of returns, on the role of reciprocal demand in international trade, on joint products and joint costs and on the dynamic theory of distribution in Book IV as opposed to the static distribution theory of Book II. Mill undoubtedly was a major influence on the development of Marshall’s economics, particularly in the early stages. 6 Other early influences on Marshall’s economics Marshall’s annotations in his copy of Mill occasionally drew attention to some of his other economics reading at this time.

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