Joan Violet Maurice
31 October 1903
|Died||5 August 1983 79) (aged|
|Influences||Adam Smith, Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes, Piero Sraffa, Michał Kalecki|
|Contributions|| Joan Robinson's growth model |
Joan Violet Robinson(néeMaurice; 31 October 1903 – 5 August 1983) was a British economist well known for her wide-ranging contributions to economic theory. She was a central figure in what became known as post-Keynesian economics.
Before leaving to fight in the Second Boer War, Joan's father, Frederick Barton Maurice, married Margaret Helen Marsh, the daughter of Frederick Howard Marsh, and the sister of Edward Marsh, at St George's, Hanover Square.Joan Maurice was born in 1903, a year after her father's return from Africa.
During World War II, Robinson worked on a few different Committees for the wartime national government. During this time, she visited the Soviet Union as well as China, gaining an interest in underdeveloped and developing nations.
Robinson was a frequent visitor to Centre for Development Studies (CDS), Thiruvananthapuram, India. She was a Visiting Fellow at the Centre in the mid-1970s.She instituted an endowment fund to support public lectures at the Centre. She was a frequent visitor to the Centre until January 1982 and participated in all activities of the Centre and especially student seminars. Professor Robinson donated royalties of two of her books (Selected Economic Writings, Bombay: Oxford University Press, 1974, Introduction to Modern Economics (jointly with John Eatwell), Delhi; Tata McGraw Hill, 1974) to CDS.
Robinson also made several trips to China, reporting her observations and analyses in China: An Economic Perspective (1958), The Cultural Revolution in China (1969), and Economic Management in China (1975; 3rd edn, 1976), in which she praised the Cultural Revolution. In October 1964, Robinson also visited North Korea, which was effectively a single-party Communist state, and wrote in her report "Korean Miracle" that the country's success was due to "the intense concentration of the Koreans on national pride" under Kim Il-sung, "a messiah rather than a dictator."She also stated in reference to the division of Korea that "[o]bviously, sooner or later the country must be reunited by absorbing the South into socialism." During her last decade, she became more and more pessimistic about the possibilities of reforming economic theory, as expressed, for example, in her essay "Spring Cleaning."
She studied economics at Girton College, Cambridge, and immediately after graduation in 1925, she married the economist Austin Robinson.In 1937, she became a lecturer in economics at the University of Cambridge. She joined the British Academy in 1958 and was elected a fellow of Newnham College in 1962. In 1965 she assumed the position of full professor and fellow of Girton College. In 1979, just four years before she died, she became the first female honorary fellow of King's College.
As a member of "the Cambridge School" of economics, Robinson contributed to the support and exposition of Keynes' General Theory, writing especially on its employment implications in 1936 and 1937 (it attempted to explain employment dynamics in the midst of the Great Depression).
In 1933, her book The Economics of Imperfect Competition, Robinson coined the term "monopsony," which is used to describe the buyer converse of a seller monopoly. Monopsony is commonly applied to buyers of labour, where the employer has wage setting power that allows it to exercise Pigouvian exploitationand pay workers less than their marginal productivity. Robinson used monopsony to describe the wage gap between women and men workers of equal productivity.
In 1942, Robinson's An Essay on Marxian Economics famously concentrated on Karl Marx as an economist, helping to revive the debate on this aspect of his legacy.
In 1956, Robinson published her magnum opus, The Accumulation of Capital, which extended Keynesianism into the long run.
In 1962, she published Essays in the Theory of Economic Growth, another book on growth theory, which discussed Golden Age growth paths. Afterwards, she developed the Cambridge growth theory with Nicholas Kaldor. She was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1964.
Near the end of her life, she studied and concentrated on methodological problems in economics and tried to recover the original message of Keynes' General Theory. Between 1962 and 1980, she wrote many economics books for the general public. Robinson suggested developing an alternative to the revival of classical economics.
The Cultural Revolution in China is written from the perspective of trying to understand the thinking that lay behind the revolution, particularly Mao Zedong's preoccupations. Mao is seen as aiming to recapture a revolutionary sense in a population that had known only, or had grown used to, stable Communism, so that it could "re-educate the Party" (pp. 20, 27); to instill a realisation that the people needed the guidance of the Party and much as the other way round (p. 20); to re-educate intellectuals who failed to see that their role in society, like that of all other groups, was to 'Serve the People' (pp. 33, 43); and finally to secure a succession, not stage-managed by the Party hierarchy or even by Mao himself but the product of interaction between a revitalised people and a revitalised Party (p. 26).
On the whole, the book emphasises the positive aspects of Mao's "moderate and humane" intentions (p. 19) rather than the "violence and disorder" that broke out, we are told, "from time to time", occurrences "strongly opposed" (ibid.) to Mao's wishes. Robinson recognises and appears to endorse a revision to classical Marxism in Mao's view of the relation of base to superstructure: "On the classical view, there is one-way determination between base and superstructure but Mao shows how the superstructure may react upon the base: Ideas may become a material force" (p. 12). She acknowledges that "Old-fashioned Marxists might regard this as a heresy, but that is scarcely reasonable" (ibid.).
In June 2019, the United States Supreme Court used Robinson's monopsony theory in its decision for Apple v. Pepper .Justice Brett Kavanaugh delivered the majority opinion, stating Apple can be sued by application developers, "on a monopsony theory."
In 1945, she was appointed to the Ministry of Works' Advisory Committee on Building Research, the only economist and the only female member of that committee.
In 1948, she was appointed the first economist member of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.
In 1949, she was invited by Ragnar Frisch to become the Vice-President of the Econometric Society but declined by saying she that could not be part of the editorial committee of a journal that she could not read.
During the 1960s, she was a major participant in the Cambridge capital controversy alongside Piero Sraffa.
At least two students who studied under her have won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences: Amartya Senand Joseph Stiglitz. In his autobiographical notes for the Nobel Foundation, Stiglitz described their relationship as "tumultuous" and Robinson as unused to "the kind of questioning stance of a brash American student"; after a term, Stiglitz therefore "switched to Frank Hahn". In his own autobiography notes, Sen described Robinson as "totally brilliant but vigorously intolerant."
She also influenced Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh which altered his approach towards economic policies.
Joan's father was Frederick Barton Maurice, her mother was Margaret Helen Marsh.
Joan Maurice married fellow economist Austin Robinson in 1926.They had two daughters.
The distinguished London surgeon and Cambridge academic Howard Marsh was Joan Robinson's maternal grandfather.
In 2016, the Council of the University of Cambridge approved the use of Robinson's name to mark a physical feature within the North West Cambridge Development.
Neoclassical economics is an approach to economics in which the production, consumption and valuation (pricing) of goods and services are driven by the supply and demand model. According to this line of thought, the value of a good or service is determined through a hypothetical maximization of utility by income-constrained individuals and of profits by firms facing production costs and employing available information and factors of production. This approach has often been justified by appealing to rational choice theory, a theory that has come under considerable question in recent years.
Post-Keynesian economics is a school of economic thought with its origins in The General Theory of John Maynard Keynes, with subsequent development influenced to a large degree by Michał Kalecki, Joan Robinson, Nicholas Kaldor, Sidney Weintraub, Paul Davidson, Piero Sraffa and Jan Kregel. Historian Robert Skidelsky argues that the post-Keynesian school has remained closest to the spirit of Keynes' original work. It is a heterodox approach to economics.
Joseph Eugene Stiglitz is an American economist, public policy analyst, and a professor at Columbia University. He is a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2001) and the John Bates Clark Medal (1979). He is a former senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank and is a former member and chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. He is known for his support of Georgist public finance theory and for his critical view of the management of globalization, of laissez-faire economists, and of international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
Nicholas Kaldor, Baron Kaldor, born Káldor Miklós, was a Cambridge economist in the post-war period. He developed the "compensation" criteria called Kaldor–Hicks efficiency for welfare comparisons (1939), derived the cobweb model, and argued for certain regularities observable in economic growth, which are called Kaldor's growth laws. Kaldor worked alongside Gunnar Myrdal to develop the key concept Circular Cumulative Causation, a multicausal approach where the core variables and their linkages are delineated. Both Myrdal and Kaldor examine circular relationships, where the interdependencies between factors are relatively strong, and where variables interlink in the determination of major processes. Gunnar Myrdal got the concept from Knut Wicksell and developed it alongside Nicholas Kaldor when they worked together at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. Myrdal concentrated on the social provisioning aspect of development, while Kaldor concentrated on demand-supply relationships to the manufacturing sector. Kaldor also coined the term "convenience yield" related to commodity markets and the so-called theory of storage, which was initially developed by Holbrook Working.
Sir John Hicks was a British economist. He is considered one of the most important and influential economists of the twentieth century. The most familiar of his many contributions in the field of economics were his statement of consumer demand theory in microeconomics, and the IS–LM model (1937), which summarised a Keynesian view of macroeconomics. His book Value and Capital (1939) significantly extended general-equilibrium and value theory. The compensated demand function is named the Hicksian demand function in memory of him.
Paul Anthony Samuelson was an American economist. The first American to win the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, the Swedish Royal Academies stated, when awarding the prize in 1970, that he "has done more than any other contemporary economist to raise the level of scientific analysis in economic theory". Economic historian Randall E. Parker has called him the "Father of Modern Economics", and The New York Times considered him to be the "foremost academic economist of the 20th century".
Lawrence Robert Klein was an American economist. For his work in creating computer models to forecast economic trends in the field of econometrics in the Department of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, he was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1980 specifically "for the creation of econometric models and their application to the analysis of economic fluctuations and economic policies." Due to his efforts, such models have become widespread among economists. Harvard University professor Martin Feldstein told the Wall Street Journal that Klein "was the first to create the statistical models that embodied Keynesian economics," tools still used by the Federal Reserve Bank and other central banks.
Alfred S. Eichner was an American post-Keynesian economist who challenged the neoclassical price mechanism and asserted that prices are not set through supply and demand but rather through mark-up pricing.
Edward Hastings Chamberlin was an American economist. He was born in La Conner, Washington, and died in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The history of economic thought was the philosophy that dealt with different Thinkers and theories in the subject that later 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.
In the history of economic thought, a school of economic thought is a group of economic thinkers who share or shared a common perspective on the way economies work. While economists do not always fit into particular schools, particularly in modern times, classifying economists into schools of thought is common. Economic thought may be roughly divided into three phases: premodern, early modern and modern. Systematic economic theory has been developed mainly since the beginning of what is termed the modern era.
In Chamberlinian monopolistic competition every one of the firms have some monopoly power, but entry drives monopoly profits to zero. The concept gets its name from Edward Chamberlin.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to economics:
Luigi L. Pasinetti is an Italian economist of the post-Keynesian school. Pasinetti is considered the heir of the "Cambridge Keynesians" and a student of Piero Sraffa and Richard Kahn. Along with them, as well as Joan Robinson, he was one of the prominent members on the "Cambridge, UK" side of the Cambridge capital controversy. His contributions to economics include developing the analytical foundations of neo-Ricardian economics, including the theory of value and distribution, as well as work in the line of Kaldorian theory of growth and income distribution. He has also developed the theory of structural change and economic growth, structural economic dynamics and uneven sectoral development.
The Keynesian Revolution was a fundamental reworking of economic theory concerning the factors determining employment levels in the overall economy. The revolution was set against the then orthodox economic framework, namely neoclassical economics.
Athanasios "Tom" Asimakopulos was a Canadian economist, who was the "William Dow Professor of Political Economy" in the Department of Economics, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. His monograph, Keynes's General Theory and Accumulation, reviews important areas of Keynes's General Theory and the theories of accumulation of two of his most distinguished followers, Roy Harrod and Joan Robinson.
Geoffrey Colin Harcourt is an Australian academic economist who is a leading member of the post-Keynesian school. He studied at the University of Melbourne and then at King's College, Cambridge.
Victoria Chick is a Post Keynesian economist who is best known for her contributions to the understanding of Keynes's General Theory and to the establishment of Post Keynesian economics in the UK and elsewhere.
The Cambridge capital controversy, sometimes called "the capital controversy" or "the two Cambridges debate", was a dispute between proponents of two differing theoretical and mathematical positions in economics that started in the 1950s and lasted well into the 1960s. The debate concerned the nature and role of capital goods and a critique of the neoclassical vision of aggregate production and distribution. The name arises from the location of the principals involved in the controversy: the debate was largely between economists such as Joan Robinson and Piero Sraffa at the University of Cambridge in England and economists such as Paul Samuelson and Robert Solow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States.
The Faculty of Economics is one of the constituent departments of the University of Cambridge. It is composed of five research groups, in macroeconomics, microeconomic theory, economic history, econometrics, and empirical microeconomics. It is located in the Sidgwick Site in Cambridge, has been host to many distinguished economists, and is regarded as the birthplace of macro-economics. 19 students or members of the faculty have won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.
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