Thomas Nixon Carver

Last updated

Thomas Nixon Carver
Thomas Nixon Carver, 1935.jpg
Thomas Nixon Carver, 1935
Born(1865-03-25)25 March 1865
Died8 March 1961(1961-03-08) (aged 95)
Nationality American
Academic career
Institution Oberlin College
Harvard University
School or
Neoclassical economics
Alma mater Cornell University
Walter Francis Willcox
Albert B. Wolfe

Thomas Nixon Carver (25 March 1865 – 8 March 1961) was an American economics professor. [1]


Early life

He grew up on a farm, the son of Quaker parents. [2] He received an undergraduate education at Iowa Wesleyan College and the University of Southern California. After studying under John Bates Clark and Richard T. Ely at Johns Hopkins University, he received a PhD degree at Cornell University under Walter Francis Willcox in 1894. [3]


He held a joint appointment in economics and sociology at Oberlin College until 1902, when he accepted a position as professor of political economy at Harvard University (1902–1935). For a time, there he taught the only course in sociology. He was the secretary-treasurer of the American Economic Association (1909–1913) and was elected its president in 1916. [4]

Carver's principal achievement in economic theory was to extend Clark's theory of marginalism to determination of interest from saving ('abstinence') and productivity of capital. [5] [6] He made pioneering contributions to agricultural and rural economics and in rural sociology. [4] [7] He wrote on such diverse topics as monetary economics, [8] macroeconomics, [9] the distribution of wealth, [10] the problem of evil, [11] uses of religion, [12] political science, [13] political economy, [14] [15] social justice, [16] behavioral economics, [17] social evolution, [18] and the economics of national survival. [19]



Sole author journal articles

Carver also co-wrote a number of journal articles, presided over conference presentations, and published in conference proceedings. [20]


  1. Blaug, Mark, ed. (1986). "CARVER, Thomas Nixon". Who's Who in Economics: A Biographical Dictionary of Major Economists 1700-1986 (2nd ed.). Wheatsheaf Books Limited. p.  149 via Internet Archive.
  2. Thomas Nixon Carver, 1949. Recollections of an Unplanned Life. "Excerpt". Archived from the original on 27 October 2009. Retrieved 26 September 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link).
  3. Elliott, Clark A.; Rossiter, Margaret W. (1992). Science at Harvard University: Historical Perspectives. Lehigh University Press. p. 199. ISBN   9780934223126.
  4. 1 2 Coats, A. W. (1987). "Carver, Thomas Nixon (1865–1961)". The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. pp. 1–2. doi:10.1057/978-1-349-95121-5_567-1. ISBN   978-1-349-95121-5. OCLC   755272638.
  5. Carver, T. N. (1893). "The Place of Abstinence in the Theory of Interest". The Quarterly Journal of Economics. 8 (1): 40–61. doi:10.2307/1882876. hdl: 2027/hvd.32044004792511 . JSTOR   1882876.
  6. Carver, T. N. (1903). "The Relation of Abstinence to Interest". The Quarterly Journal of Economics. 18 (1): 142–145. doi:10.2307/1882781. JSTOR   1882781.
  7. Thomas Nixon Carver, 1911. Principles of Rural Economics. Chapter links, pp. vii–x.
  8. Carver, T. N. (1897). "The Value of the Money Unit". The Quarterly Journal of Economics. 11 (4): 429–435. doi:10.2307/1880718. JSTOR   1880718. ProQuest   127816360.
  9. Carver, T. N. (1903). "A Suggestion for a Theory of Industrial Depressions". The Quarterly Journal of Economics. 17 (3): 497–500. doi:10.2307/1882323. hdl: 2027/hvd.hnttc5 . JSTOR   1882323.
  10. Thomas Nixon Carver, 1904. The Distribution of Wealth. Chapter links.
  11. Carver, Thomas N. (1908). "The Economic Basis of the Problem of Evil". The Harvard Theological Review. 1 (1): 97–111. doi:10.1017/S0017816000006544. JSTOR   1507533. S2CID   170136407.
  12. 1912. The Religion Worth Having. Chapter links.
  13. 1914. "Political Science, I. General Introduction" in William Allan Neilson, ed., Lectures on the Harvard Classics , v. 51 of 51, pp. 328–346.
  14. • 1919. Principles of Political Economy. Chapter links, pp. viiix.
  15. Carver, Thomas Nixon (1960). "A Conservative's Ideas on Economic Reform". The Quarterly Journal of Economics. 74 (4): 536–542. doi:10.2307/1884350. JSTOR   1884350.
  16. 1915. Essays in Social Justice. Chapter links.
  17. Carver, T. N. (1918). "The Behavioristic Man". The Quarterly Journal of Economics. 33 (1): 195–201. doi:10.2307/1885016. JSTOR   1885016.
  18. Thomas Nixon Carver, 1935. The Essential Factors of Social Evolution. Chapter links, pp. ix–xi.
  19. Carver, Thomas N. (1917). "The National Point of View in Economics: Annual Address of the President". The American Economic Review. 7 (1): 3–17. JSTOR   1814767.
  20. Carver, T. N. (1908). "Agricultural Economics. Round Table Discussion: T. N. Carver, Chairman". American Economic Association Quarterly. 9 (1): 59–82. JSTOR   2999987.

Related Research Articles

Economics is a social science that studies the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Joseph Schumpeter</span> Austrian political economist (1883–1950)

Joseph Alois Schumpeter was an Austrian political economist. He served briefly as Finance Minister of Austria in 1919. In 1932, he emigrated to the United States to become a professor at Harvard University, where he remained until the end of his career, and in 1939 obtained American citizenship.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">James Tobin</span> American economist (1918–2002)

James Tobin was an American economist who served on the Council of Economic Advisers and consulted with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and taught at Harvard and Yale Universities. He contributed to the development of key ideas in the Keynesian economics of his generation and advocated government intervention in particular to stabilize output and avoid recessions. His academic work included pioneering contributions to the study of investment, monetary and fiscal policy and financial markets. He also proposed an econometric model for censored dependent variables, the well-known tobit model.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vilfredo Pareto</span> Italian polymath (1848–1923)

Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto was an Italian polymath, whose areas of interest included sociology, civil engineering, economics, political science, and philosophy. He made several important contributions to economics, particularly in the study of income distribution and in the analysis of individuals' choices. He was also responsible for popularising the use of the term "elite" in social analysis.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Economic history</span>

Economic history is the study of history using methodological tools from economics or with a special attention to economic phenomena. Research is conducted using a combination of historical methods, statistical methods and the application of economic theory to historical situations and institutions. The field can encompass a wide variety of topics, including equality, finance, technology, labour, and business. It emphasizes historicizing the economy itself, analyzing it as a dynamic entity and attempting to provide insights into the way it is structured and conceived.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Political economy</span> Study of the development of social production

Political economy is a branch of political science and economics studying economic systems and their governance by political systems. Widely studied phenomena within the discipline are systems such as labour markets and financial markets, as well as phenomena such as growth, distribution, inequality, and trade, and how these are shaped by institutions, laws, and government policy. Originating in the 16th century, it is the precursor to the modern discipline of economics. Political economy in its modern form is considered an interdisciplinary field, drawing on theory from both political science and modern economics.

Public choice, or public choice theory, is "the use of economic tools to deal with traditional problems of political science." Its content includes the study of political behavior. In political science, it is the subset of positive political theory that studies self-interested agents and their interactions, which can be represented in a number of ways—using standard constrained utility maximization, game theory, or decision theory. It is the origin and intellectual foundation of contemporary work in political economy.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thorstein Veblen</span> American economist and sociologist (1857–1929)

Thorstein Bunde Veblen was an American economist and sociologist who, during his lifetime, emerged as a well-known critic of capitalism.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Law and economics</span> Application of economic theory to analysis of legal systems

Law and economics, or economic analysis of law, is the application of microeconomic theory to the analysis of law. The field emerged in the United States during the early 1960s, primarily from the work of scholars from the Chicago school of economics such as Aaron Director, George Stigler, and Ronald Coase. The field uses economics concepts to explain the effects of laws, to assess which legal rules are economically efficient, and to predict which legal rules will be promulgated. There are two major branches of law and economics; one based on the application of the methods and theories of neoclassical economics to the positive and normative analysis of the law, and a second branch which focuses on an institutional analysis of law and legal institutions, with a broader focus on economic, political, and social outcomes, and overlapping with analyses of the institutions of politics and governance.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Irving Fisher</span> American economist (1867–1947)

Irving Fisher was an American economist, statistician, inventor, eugenicist and progressive social campaigner. He was one of the earliest American neoclassical economists, though his later work on debt deflation has been embraced by the post-Keynesian school. Joseph Schumpeter described him as "the greatest economist the United States has ever produced", an assessment later repeated by James Tobin and Milton Friedman.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Socioeconomics</span> Social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes

Socioeconomics is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how modern societies progress, stagnate, or regress because of their local or regional economy, or the global economy.

Mark Sanford Granovetter is an American sociologist and professor at Stanford University. He is best known for his work in social network theory and in economic sociology, particularly his theory on the spread of information in social networks known as The Strength of Weak Ties (1973). In 2014 Granovetter was named a Citation Laureate by Thomson Reuters and added to that organization’s list of predicted Nobel Prize winners in economics. Data from the Web of Science show that Granovetter has written both the first and third most cited sociology articles.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Economic sociology</span> Branch of sociology

Economic sociology is the study of the social cause and effect of various economic phenomena. The field can be broadly divided into a classical period and a contemporary one, known as "new economic sociology".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mancur Olson</span> American economist and political scientist (1932–1998)

Mancur Lloyd Olson Jr. was an American economist and political scientist who taught at the University of Maryland, College Park. His most influential contributions were to new institutional economics, and focused on the role played by private property, taxation, public goods, collective action, and contract rights in economic development.

Henry Dunning Macleod was a Scottish economist and lawyer.

Economics imperialism is the economic analysis of non-economic aspects of life, such as crime, law, the family, prejudice, tastes, irrational behavior, politics, sociology, culture, religion, war, science, and research. Related usage of the term goes back as far as the 1930s.

The economics of religion concerns both the application of the techniques of economics to the study of religion and the relationship between economic and religious behaviours. Contemporary writers on the subject trace it back to Adam Smith (1776).

Rural economics is the study of rural economies. Rural economies include both agricultural and non-agricultural industries, so rural economics has broader concerns than agricultural economics which focus more on food systems. Rural development and finance attempt to solve larger challenges within rural economics. These economic issues are often connected to the migration from rural areas due to lack of economic activities and rural poverty. Some interventions have been very successful in some parts of the world, with rural electrification and rural tourism providing anchors for transforming economies in some rural areas. These challenges often create rural-urban income disparities.

Demographic economics or population economics is the application of economic analysis to demography, the study of human populations, including size, growth, density, distribution, and vital statistics.

Neo-Marxism is a collection of Marxist schools of thought originating from 20th-century approaches to amend or extend Marxism and Marxist theory, typically by incorporating elements from other intellectual traditions such as critical theory, psychoanalysis, or existentialism. Neo-Marxism comes under the broader framework of the New Left. In a sociological sense, neo-Marxism adds Max Weber's broader understanding of social inequality, such as status and power, to Marxist philosophy.