The Role of the Economist

  • John Jewkes


The science of economics has frequently passed through unhappy periods when controversy has ranged within it and public respect for its principles has, in consequence, waned. In the 20s of last century Torrens was writing of the unsettled state of the subject and looking forward, with a touching confidence that proved to be misplaced, to the early arrival of the period of unanimity. In the 60s and 70s J. E. Cairnes was deploring the numerous and fundamental divergences between economists, examining first principles again in an effort to dissolve the differences, and was vigorously defending his conception of the science against the growing opinion of many intelligent outsiders that political economy was obsolete, a useful branch of knowledge which had served its turn but was becoming an obstacle to progress. In the 80s Thorold Rogers in his lectures in Oxford was slashing energetically at what he termed the ‘thorns and thistles of abstract political economy’ and declaring that ‘political economy is in a bad way: its authority is repudiated, its conclusions are assailed, its arguments are compared to the dissertations held in Milton’s Limbo, its practical suggestions are conceived to be not much better than those of the philosophers in Laputa’.


Technical Progress Full Employment Economic Science Free Market Economic Economic Logic 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 4.
    George J. Stigler, ‘Competition in the United States, Five Lectures on Economic Problems, 1950.Google Scholar
  2. 5.
    G. Warren Nutter, The Extent of Enterprise Monopoly in the United States, 1899–1939, 1951.Google Scholar
  3. 6.
    J. Fred Weston, The Role of Mergers in the Growth of Large Firms, 1953.Google Scholar
  4. 7.
    M. A. Adelman ‘The Measurement of Industrial Concentration’, Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. xxxiii, November 1951.Google Scholar
  5. 8.
    Aaron Director, ‘The Parity of the Economic Market Place’, Conference on Freedom and the Law, University of Chicago, May 1953.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© John Jewkes 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Jewkes

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations