The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Butlin, Noel George (1921–1991)

  • Graeme Donald Snooks
Reference work entry


Noel George Butlin, one of Australia’s leading historical economists, was born in Singleton, New South Wales on 19 December 1921. He was the sixth child and third son of Thomas Lyon Butlin, a railway porter, and Sara Mary Butlin (née Chantler). Butlin attended Maitland Boys High and studied economics at Sydney University. During his undergraduate years, Sydney had the nation’s best economics department in terms of the professional qualifications of its teaching staff. Even so, Butlin claimed that, while his lecturers taught him how to deconstruct aspects of the economy, they were unable to show him how it all worked. He wanted to become a scholar to understand real-world economic processes.


Butlin, N. G. Economic development National accounting Neoclassical growth theory Structural disequilibrium Technical change 

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  1. Snooks, G.D. 1994. Portrait of the family within the total economy: A study in longrun dynamics, Australia, 1788–1990. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Snooks, G.D. 1998. Longrun dynamics: A general economic and political theory. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  3. Snooks, G.D. 2007. Dynamics downunder: Australian economic strategy and performance from the palaeolithic to the twenty-first century. In World economic performance: Past, present and future, ed. P. Rao and B. van Ark. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Graeme Donald Snooks
    • 1
  1. 1.