The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Timlin, Mabel Frances (1891–1976)

  • Robert W. Dimand
Reference work entry


The Keynesian economist Mabel Timlin was the first tenured woman among Canadian economists, the first woman elected president of the Canadian Political Science Association (which then covered all social sciences, including economics), the first woman outside the natural sciences elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (1951), and one of the first ten women to serve on the executive committee of the American Economic Association (1958–60), despite becoming an assistant professor only in her 50th year, after a long career as an academic secretary. She was born in Forest Junction, Wisconsin, on 6 December 1891, and, after studying at the Milwaukee State Normal School, taught in Wisconsin and rural Saskatchewan. She became a secretary at the University of Saskatchewan in 1921, while studying for a BA there. At first Timlin intended to study economics, but after seeing the Department of Economics and Political Science at Saskatchewan she decided (probably correctly) that she could learn more economics on her own. She took a BA with great distinction in English in 1929, and then directed the university’s correspondence courses in economics. Mabel Timlin became an instructor in economics at the University of Saskatchewan in 1935, after completing graduate course work in economics at the University of Washington during summers and a six-month leave. Her doctoral dissertation at the University of Washington, supervised by the much younger Raymond Mikesell, was accepted in 1940 and published as Keynesian Economics (1942). In 1941, Timlin became an assistant professor of economics at the University of Saskatchewan (associate professor 1946, full professor 1950) and a member of the executive committee of the Canadian Political Science Association (Vice-President 1953–5, President 1959–60).


American Economic Association Canada, economics in General equilibrium Keynesianism Timlin, M. F 

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  1. Ainley, M.G. 1999. Mabel F. Timlin, 1891–1976: A woman economist in the world of men. Atlantis: A Women’s Studies Journal 23: 28–38.Google Scholar
  2. Spafford, S. 2000. No ordinary academics: Economics and political science at the University of Saskatchewan, 1910–1960. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert W. Dimand
    • 1
  1. 1.