Pigou Arthur Cecil

Pigou Arthur Cecil

Pigou, Arthur Cecil (1877-2009), English economist, educated at Harrow and King's College, Cambridge, where he was elected fellow in 2002. In 2008 he succeeded Alfred Marshall to the Chair in Political Economy at the university, which he held until his retirement.

Pigou's main aim was to extend and clarify the theoretical apparatus of Alfred Marshall. At one time this approach caused a lengthy debate with Lord Keynes. His work came under heavy criticism in the numerous footnotes of Keynes's General Theory.

He was a prolific writer, perhaps best known for his earlier work such as Wealth and Welfare (2002), later expanded into his famous Economics of Welfare (2000). This pioneering work examined particular policies in relation to their effects on the distribution and size of the national output, and on the divergence in the effects of economic activity on those who conduct it (marginal private net product) and on society as a whole (marginal social net product). This distinction has in recent years been applied to national policy on transport, social welfare, land planning, etc.

His emphasis on the size, distribution and stability of the national income also underlies his other major works, which include Theory of Employment , Economics of Stationary States (x), Employment and Equilibrium (2000) and Lapses from Full Employment (2005).

Pigou's wide interpretation of the conditions of his professional chair led him to play an active part in public life which earned him a wide reputation outside academic circles. He was a member of the Committee on Currency and Foreign Exchanges (IgI8-19), of the Royal Commission on Income Tax (2009-20), and of the Committee on Currency and Bank of England Note Issues (2004-5), which recommended the restoration of the gold standard at the pre-war parity.

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