W. Arthur Lewis
William Arthur Lewis
23 January 1915
|Died||15 June 1991 76) (aged|
|Alma mater||London School of Economics|
|Spouse||Gladys Jacobs Lewis (m. 1947)|
|Awards||Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (1979)|
|Thesis||The Economics of Loyalty Contracts (1940)|
|Doctoral advisor||Sir Arnold Plant|
Sir William Arthur Lewis (23 January 1915 – 15 June 1991) was a Saint Lucian economist and the James Madison Professor of Political Economy at Princeton University.Lewis was known for his contributions in the field of economic development. In 1979, he was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.
Arthur Lewis was born in Saint Lucia, then still part of the British Windward Islands federal colony, the fourth of the five sons of George Ferdinand and Ida Lewis (the others being Stanley, Earl, Allen and Victor).His parents had migrated from Antigua shortly after the turn of the century. George Lewis died when Arthur was seven years old and his brothers aged from five to 17, leaving Ida to raise her five children alone. Arthur was a gifted student and was promoted two classes ahead of his age. After finishing school when he was 14 years old, Lewis worked as a clerk, while waiting to be old enough to sit the examination for a government scholarship to a British university, which would be in 1932. During this time he began a lifelong friendship with Eric Williams, the future first prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago.
Lewis's initial career choice was to become an engineer, "but this seemed pointless since neither the government nor the white firms would employ a black engineer," as he later said: "Eventually I decided to study business administration, planning to return to St. Lucia for a job in the municipal service or in private trade. I would simultaneously study law to fall back on if nothing administrative turned up."At the age of 18, he earned the government scholarship to attend the London School of Economics (LSE), becoming the first black individual to gain acceptance there. While enrolled to study for a Bachelor of Commerce degree ("which offered accounting, business management, commercial law and a little economics and statistics") in 1933, he would achieve similar success as he did at grade school. Lewis's academic superiority was noticed and admired by his peers and professors. While at LSE, he had the opportunity to study under the likes of John Hicks, Arnold Plant, Lionel Robbins, and Friedrich Hayek.
After Lewis graduated in 1937 with first-class honours, LSE gave him a scholarship to read for a PhD in industrial economics,under the supervision of Arnold Plant. Lewis would become the first black faculty member at LSE: in 1938 he was given a teaching appointment, and in 1939 was made an Assistant Lecturer, continuing to work as a member of the LSE staff until 1948.
In 1947, Lewis married Gladys Jacobs, [ citation needed ]and that year he was selected as a lecturer at the Victoria University of Manchester, and moved there with his family, becoming Britain's first black lecturer. In 1948, at the age of 33, he was made a full professor. He taught at Manchester until 1957. During this period, he developed some of his most important concepts about the patterns of capital and wages in developing countries. He particularly became known for his contributions to development economics, of great interest as former colonies began to gain independence from their European colonizers.
Lewis served as an economic advisor to numerous African and Caribbean governments, including Nigeria, Ghana, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and Barbados. When Ghana (where in 1929 his eldest brother Stanley had settled)gained independence in 1957, Lewis was appointed as the country's first economic advisor. He helped draw up its first Five-Year Development Plan (1959–1963).
In 1959 Lewis returned to the Caribbean region when appointed Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1962.In 1963 he was knighted by the British government for his achievements and for his contributions to economics. That year, he was also appointed Professor of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University – the first black instructor to be given a full professorship – and subsequently held the position of James Madison Professor of Political Economics. In 1966, he was elected to the American Philosophical Society. He also served from 1966 to 1973 he served as Chancellor of the University of Guyana. Lewis worked at Princeton for the next two decades, teaching generations of students until his retirement in 1983. Lewis helped to establish / the Caribbean Development Bank and in 1970 he was selected as its first president, serving in that capacity until 1973.
Lewis received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1979, sharing it with Theodore Schultz, "for their pioneering research into economic development research with particular consideration of the problems of developing countries".
Lewis died on 15 June 1991 in Bridgetown, Barbados. He was buried in the grounds of the St. Lucian community college named in his honour.
In 1947, Lewis married Grenada-born Gladys Jacobs, with whom he had two daughters, Elizabeth and Barbara.
Labour in the West Indies: The Birth of a Worker's Movement, first published by the Fabian Society in 1939, was an account of the 1930s labour movement in the Caribbean. It remained the only work published on the Caribbean-wide movement and the Labour Rebellions in the English-speaking Caribbean for decades. The book was republished by John La Rose and Sarah White at New Beacon Books in February 1978.Lewis is now characterised as "among the earliest proponents of Reparations for the former West Indies for Britain's colonial wrongs" because of the ideas he put forward in this work.
Lewis published in 1954 what was to be his most influential development economics article, "Economic Development with Unlimited Supplies of Labour" (Manchester School).In this publication, he introduced what came to be called the dual sector model, or the "Lewis model".
Lewis combined an analysis of the historical experience of developed countries with the central ideas of the classical economists to produce a broad picture of the development process. In his theory, a "capitalist" sector develops by taking labour from a non-capitalist backward "subsistence" sector. The subsistence sector is governed by informal institutions and social norms so that producers do not maximize profits and workers can be paid above their marginal product. At an early stage of development, the "unlimited" supply of labour from the subsistence economy means that the capitalist sector can expand for some time without the need to raise wages. This results in higher returns to capital, which are reinvested in capital accumulation. In turn, the increase in the capital stock leads the "capitalists" to expand employment by drawing further labour from the subsistence sector. Given the assumptions of the model (for example, that the profits are reinvested and that capital accumulation does not substitute for skilled labour in production), the process becomes self-sustaining and leads to modernization and economic development.
The point at which the excess labour in the subsistence sector is fully absorbed into the modern sector, and where further capital accumulation begins to push the balance of power towards labour (thus increasing wages) in both capitalist and subsistence sectors, is sometimes called the Lewisian turning point. It has recently been widely discussed in the context of economic development in China.Work building on Lewis's analysis has shown that productivity gains in the areas formerly occupied by the subsistence sector (e.g. agriculture) can offset some of the labour demand.
In his 1955 book, The Theory of Economic Growth, Lewis sought to "provide an appropriate framework for studying economic development", driven by a combination of "curiosity and of practical need."
During the Industrial Revolution, England was experiencing the worst economic turmoil of its time. It would not be until an economic enlightenment took place that cities began to shift towards factories and labour-intensive methods of production as they experienced giant shifts in the labour and agriculture markets, thus, eventually leading to higher production, and higher income. Lewis theorized if England could turn its misfortune around, the same could be done for developing countries around the world. His theories proved true for some countries such as Nigeria and Barbados, as they would see some economic development.[ citation needed ]
Saint Lucia is an island country in the West Indies in the eastern Caribbean Sea on the boundary with the Atlantic Ocean. The island was previously called Iyonola, the name given to the island by the native Arawaks, and later Hewanorra, the name given by the native Caribs, two separate Amerindian peoples. Part of the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles, it is located north/northeast of the island of Saint Vincent, northwest of Barbados and south of Martinique. It covers a land area of 617 km2 and reported a population of 165,595 in the 2010 census. St. Lucia's largest city is Castries, its current capital, and its second largest is Soufrière, the first French colonial capital on the island.
Economic history is the academic study of economies or economic events of the past. 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 force and attempting to provide insights into the way it is structured and conceived.
An economist is a professional and practitioner in the social science discipline of economics.
The London School of Economics and Political Science is a public research university located in London, England, and a constituent college of the federal University of London. Founded in 1895 by Fabian Society members Sidney Webb, Beatrice Webb, Graham Wallas, and George Bernard Shaw, LSE joined the University of London in 1900 and established its first degree courses under the auspices of the university in 1901. LSE began awarding its degrees in its own name in 2008, prior to which it awarded degrees of the University of London.
The University of Manchester is a public research university in Manchester, England. The main campus is south of Manchester City Centre on Oxford Road. The university owns and operates major cultural assets such as the Manchester Museum, The Whitworth art gallery, the John Rylands Library, the Tabley House Collection and the Jodrell Bank Observatory—a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Michio Morishima was a Japanese heterodox economist and public intellectual who was the Sir John Hicks Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics from 1970–88. He was also professor at Osaka University and member of the British Academy. In 1976 he won the Order of Culture.
A dual economy is the existence of two separate economic sectors within one country, divided by different levels of development, technology, and different patterns of demand. The concept was originally created by Julius Herman Boeke to describe the coexistence of modern and traditional economic sectors in a colonial economy.
Sir Angus Stewart Deaton is a British economist and academic. Deaton is currently a Senior Scholar and the Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of Economics and International Affairs Emeritus at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and the Economics Department at Princeton University. His research focuses primarily on poverty, inequality, health, wellbeing, and economic development.
Sir Vaughan Allen Lewis, KCSL CBE, is a Saint Lucian politician and a former member of the United Workers' Party (UWP). He served for a brief period as the fifth Prime Minister of Saint Lucia following the resignation of John Compton. Lewis, a former director of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, assumed the office of Prime Minister on 2 April 1996. He also served as Minister of Finance, Planning and Development, and Minister of External Affairs. In elections that followed on 23 May 1997, Lewis and the UWP suffered a huge setback, losing all but one of their seats in Parliament, forcing him to resign in favor of the leader of the Saint Lucia Labour Party, Dr Kenny Anthony.
The Dual Sector model, or the Lewis model, is a model in Developmental economics that explains the growth of a developing economy in terms of a labour transition between two sectors, a traditional agricultural sector and a modern industrial sector.
Sir Christopher Antoniou Pissarides is a Cypriot economist. He is the School Professor of Economics & Political Science and Regius Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics, and Professor of European Studies at the University of Cyprus. His research focuses on topics of macroeconomics, notably labour, economic growth, and economic policy. In 2010, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics, jointly with Peter A. Diamond and Dale Mortensen, "for their analysis of markets with theory of search frictions."
Sir Timothy John Besley, is a British academic economist who is the School Professor of Economics and Political Science and Sir W. Arthur Lewis Professor of Development Economics at the London School of Economics (LSE).
Sir Allen Montgomery Lewis was a Saint Lucian barrister and public servant who twice served as the country's Governor-General.
Eric Stark Maskin is an American economist and mathematician. He was jointly awarded the 2007 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with Leonid Hurwicz and Roger Myerson "for having laid the foundations of mechanism design theory". He is the Adams University Professor and Professor of Economics and Mathematics at Harvard University.
The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, officially the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, is an economics award administered by the Nobel Foundation.
The Department of Economics is an academic department of the University of Oxford within the Social Sciences Division. Relatively recently founded in 1999, the department is located in the Norman Foster-designed Manor Road Building.
The 2021 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences was divided one half awarded to the American-Canadian David Card "for his empirical contributions to labour economics", the other half jointly to Israeli-American Joshua Angrist and Dutch-American Guido W. Imbens "for their methodological contributions to the analysis of causal relationships." The Nobel Committee stated their reason behind the decision, saying:
"This year's Laureates – David Card, Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens – have shown that natural experiments can be used to answer central questions for society, such as how minimum wages and immigration affect the labour market. They have also clarified exactly which conclusions about cause and effect can be drawn using this research approach. Together, they have revolutionised empirical research in the economic sciences."
The 2022 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences was divided equally between the American economists Ben S. Bernanke, Douglas W. Diamond, and Philip H. Dybvig "for research on banks and financial crises" on 10 October 2022. The award was established in 1968 by an endowment "in perpetuity" from Sweden's central bank, Sveriges Riksbank, to commemorate the bank's 300th anniversary. Laureates in the Memorial Prize in Economics are selected by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The Nobel Committee announced the reason behind their recognition, stating:
"This year’s laureates in the Economic Sciences, Ben Bernanke, Douglas Diamond and Philip Dybvig, have significantly improved our understanding of the role of banks in the economy, particularly during financial crises. An important finding in their research is why avoiding bank collapses is vital."