The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Hobson, John Atkinson (1858–1940)

  • Peter Clarke
  • Roger E. Backhouse
  • P. J. Cain
Reference work entry


John Atkinson Hobson, a self-styled economic heretic, had a long and prolific career as an economist and political activist. His heresies included underconsumptionism and a critique of orthodox welfare economics based on ideas from John Ruskin, the former being elaborated into a theory of imperialism that influenced Lenin. He was belatedly recognized as a forerunner by Keynes in his General Theory, but this does not do justice to the range of Hobson’s work.


Accelerator Clark, J. B. Effective demand Fabian economics Forced gains Hobson, J. A. Imperialism Involuntary unemployment Keynes, J. M. Lenin, V. I. Living wage Marginal productivity theory Marginalism Mill, J. S. Pigou, A. C. Productive and unproductive surplus Progressive and regressive taxation Protection Quantity theory of money Rent Surplus value Underconsumptionism 

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  9. Pheby, J. 1994. J. A. Hobson after fifty years. Basingstoke: Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Clarke
    • 1
  • Roger E. Backhouse
    • 1
  • P. J. Cain
    • 1
  1. 1.