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The first serious optimist : A.C. Pigou and the birth of welfare economics

Author: Ian Kumekawa
Publisher: Princeton Princeton University Press [2017] © 2017
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
The First Serious Optimist is an intellectual biography of the British economist A. C. Pigou (1877-1959), a founder of welfare economics and one of the twentieth century's most important and original thinkers. Though long overshadowed by his intellectual rival John Maynard Keynes, Pigou was instrumental in focusing economics on the public welfare. And his reputation is experiencing a renaissance today, in part  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Biografie
Additional Physical Format: Erscheint auch als:
Kumekawa, Ian
The first serious optimist
Princeton : Princeton University Press, 2017
1 online resource (x, 332 pages)
Online-Ausgabe
Named Person: A C Pigou; Arthur C Pigou; A C Pigou; Arthur C Pigou
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Ian Kumekawa
ISBN: 9780691163482 0691163480
OCLC Number: 1002267767
Notes: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Description: x, 332 Seiten : Illustrationen
Contents: Acknowledgments ix Introduction History and Economics 1 1 Beginnings 8 2 Ethics, Politics, and Science 34 3 Bearing Fruit as Well as Light: Pigou's Welfare Economics 61 4 War, Peace, and Disillusionment 83 5 Retreat to the Ivory Tower 111 6 Paradigms Lost 130 7 Another War and a Fresh Start 172 8 To "Really Do a Little Good:" A Redemptive Conclusion 194 Epilogue 208 Notes 213 Bibliography 293 Index 321
Responsibility: Ian Kumekawa.

Abstract:

The First Serious Optimist is an intellectual biography of the British economist A. C. Pigou (1877-1959), a founder of welfare economics and one of the twentieth century's most important and original thinkers. Though long overshadowed by his intellectual rival John Maynard Keynes, Pigou was instrumental in focusing economics on the public welfare. And his reputation is experiencing a renaissance today, in part because his idea of "externalities" or spillover costs is the basis of carbon taxes. Drawing from a wealth of archival sources, Ian Kumekawa tells how Pigou reshaped the way the public thinks about the economic role of government and the way economists think about the public good. Setting Pigou's ideas in their personal, political, social, and ethical context, the book follows him as he evolved from a liberal Edwardian bon vivant to a reserved but reform-minded economics professor. With World War I, Pigou entered government service, but soon became disenchanted with the state he encountered. As his ideas were challenged in the interwar period, he found himself increasingly alienated from his profession. But with the rise of the Labour Party following World War II, the elderly Pigou re-embraced a mind-set that inspired a colleague to describe him as "the first serious optimist." The story not just of Pigou but also of twentieth-century economics, The First Serious Optimist explores the biographical and historical origins of some of the most important economic ideas of the past hundred years. It is a timely reminder of the ethical roots of economics and the discipline's long history as an active intermediary between the state and the market.

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"Through his biographical and historical study of Pigou and his work, Kumekawa shows us how the Cambridge professor bound ethics and economics together, and did so in a way that intersected with the Read more...

 
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C. Pigou (1877-1959), a founder of welfare economics and one of the twentieth century\'s most important and original thinkers. Though long overshadowed by his intellectual rival John Maynard Keynes, Pigou was instrumental in focusing economics on the public welfare. And his reputation is experiencing a renaissance today, in part because his idea of \"externalities\" or spillover costs is the basis of carbon taxes. Drawing from a wealth of archival sources, Ian Kumekawa tells how Pigou reshaped the way the public thinks about the economic role of government and the way economists think about the public good. Setting Pigou\'s ideas in their personal, political, social, and ethical context, the book follows him as he evolved from a liberal Edwardian bon vivant to a reserved but reform-minded economics professor. With World War I, Pigou entered government service, but soon became disenchanted with the state he encountered. 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