David Laidler

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David Ernest William Laidler (born 12 August 1938, England) is an economist who has been one of the foremost scholars of monetarism. [1] [2] He published major economics journal articles on the topic in the late 1960s and early 1970s. His book, The Demand for Money, was published in four editions from 1969 through 1993 (with slightly altered subtitles), initially setting forth the stability of the relationship between income and the demand for money and later taking into consideration the effects of legal, technological, and institutional changes on the demand for money. The book has been translated into French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, and Chinese.

Economist professional in the social science discipline of economics

An economist is a practitioner in the social science discipline of economics.

Monetarism is a school of thought in monetary economics that emphasizes the role of governments in controlling the amount of money in circulation. Monetarist theory asserts that variations in the money supply have major influences on national output in the short run and on price levels over longer periods. Monetarists assert that the objectives of monetary policy are best met by targeting the growth rate of the money supply rather than by engaging in discretionary monetary policy.

Income is the consumption and saving opportunity gained by an entity within a specified timeframe, which is generally expressed in monetary terms. For households and individuals, "income is the sum of all the wages, salaries, profits, interest payments, rents, and other forms of earnings received in a given period of time."


His continued work on the demand for money through the 1990s and into the 21st century (with William B.P. Robson) led to his receiving the Donner Prize in 2004 for Two Percent Target: Canadian Monetary Policy Since 1991, published by the C.D. Howe Institute, with which Laidler maintains a close working relationship.

The Donner Prize is an award given annually by one of Canada's largest foundation, the Donner Canadian Foundation, for books considered excellent in regard to the writing of Canadian public policy. The prize was established in 1998 and is meant to encourage an open exchange of ideas and to provide a springboard for authors who can make an original and meaningful contribution to policy discourse. The Donner Canadian Foundation also established the prize to recognize and reward the best public policy thinking, writing and research by a Canadian, and the role it plays in determining the well-being of Canadians and the success of Canada as a whole.

His other major publication, Introduction to Microeconomics, was also published in four editions, from 1974–1994. It was translated into Spanish, Polish, Italian, and Bulgarian.

Later in his career, Laidler shifted focus to the history of economic thought. [3] Despite being retired, he is still an active researcher and scholar.

The history of economic thought deals with different thinkers and theories in the subject that became political economy and economics, from the ancient world to the present day in the 21st Century. This field encompasses many disparate schools of economic thought. Ancient Greek writers such as the philosopher Aristotle examined ideas about the art of wealth acquisition, and questioned whether property is best left in private or public hands. In the Middle Ages, scholasticists such as Thomas Aquinas argued that it was a moral obligation of businesses to sell goods at a just price


London School of Economics Public research university in Westminster, central London, England

The London School of Economics is a public research university located in London, England, and a member institution of the federal University of London. Founded in 1895 by Fabian Society members Sidney Webb, Beatrice Webb, Graham Wallas, and George Bernard Shaw for the betterment of society, LSE joined the University of London in 1900 and established its first degree courses under the auspices of the University in 1901. The LSE started awarding its own degrees in 2008, prior to which it awarded degrees of the University of London.

University of Chicago Private research university in Chicago, Illinois, United States

The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1890, the school is located on a 217-acre campus in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood, near Lake Michigan. The University of Chicago holds top-ten positions in various national and international rankings.

Academic affiliations

In addition to many visiting appointments, David Laidler has held full-time teaching positions at the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Essex, and the University of Manchester, but from 1975 onward his primary academic affiliation has been with the University of Western Ontario. He was named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1982 and served as president of the Canadian Economic Association, 1987–88.

University of California, Berkeley Public university in California, USA

The University of California, Berkeley is a public research university in Berkeley, California. It was founded in 1868 and serves as the flagship institution of the ten research universities affiliated with the University of California system. Berkeley has since grown to instruct over 40,000 students in approximately 350 undergraduate and graduate degree programs covering numerous disciplines.

University of Essex university in Essex, England

The University of Essex is a public research university in Essex, England. It was established in 1963, welcomed its first students in 1964 and received its Royal Charter in 1965. Essex's motto, "Thought the harder, heart the keener", is adapted from the Anglo-Saxon poem The Battle of Maldon.

University of Manchester public research university in Manchester, England

The University of Manchester is a public research university in Manchester, England, formed in 2004 by the merger of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology and the Victoria University of Manchester. The University of Manchester is a red brick university, a product of the civic university movement of the late 19th century.

Academic honours

Royal Society of Canada academy in Canada

The Royal Society of Canada, also known as the Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences of Canada, is the senior national, bilingual council of distinguished Canadian scholars, humanists, scientists and artists. The primary objective of the RSC is to promote learning and research in the arts, the humanities and the sciences. The RSC is Canada’s National Academy and exists to promote Canadian research and scholarly accomplishment in both official languages, to recognize academic and artistic excellence, and to advise governments, non-governmental organizations and Canadians on matters of public interest.


Books and monographs

Selected articles


  1. Bordo, Michael; Schwartz, Anna J. (October 2006). "David Laidler on Monetarism". NBER Working Paper No. 12593. doi:10.3386/w12593.
  2. Robert Leeson, (ed.), David Laidler's Contributions to Economics. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. xii + 376 pp.
  3. Thomas M. Humphrey (2011), "Book Review of Robert Leeson, (ed.), David Laidler's Contributions to Economics. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010", Economic History Association at eh.net Archived 2011-09-10 at the Wayback Machine
Government offices
Preceded by
Special Adviser for Bank of Canada
Succeeded by
Daniel Racette

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