The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Patten, Simon Nelson (1852–1922)

  • A. W. Coats
Reference work entry


One of the most original and idiosyncratic American economists of his generation, Patten was born at Sandwich, Illinois on 1 May 1852 and studied at Jennings Seminary, Aurora, Illinois. There he met Joseph French Johnson, later a colleague at the University of Pennsylvania, whom he followed to Halle in 1876 after spending only 18 months as a freshman at Northwestern University. At Halle Patten obtained the Ph.D. degree remarkably quickly, in 1878, and he encountered two major personal influences, his teacher Johannes Conrad and a fellow American student, Edward Janes James, who was eventually instrumental in securing Patten’s appointment at the University of Pennsylvania in 1888, where he remained throughout his academic career. In the intervening period, however, like Thorstein


American Economic Association Patten, S. N. Protection James, E. J. 

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  1. Fox, D.M. 1967. The discovery of abundance: Simon N. Patten and the transformation of social theory. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. W. Coats
    • 1
  1. 1.