The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Navier, Louis Marie Henri (1785–1836)

  • R. F. Hébert
Reference work entry


A French engineer and economist, Louis Marie Henri Navier was a pioneer in the construction of suspension bridges, and is also known as the creator of that branch of mechanics known as structural analysis. In his economic inquiries, he sought a practical measure of public utility that provided the springboard for Dupuit’s pioneer contributions to demand theory. Orphaned at the age of nine, Navier was adopted by his great-uncle, the celebrated architect–engineer, Émiland-Marie Gauthey (1732–1806), who likely inspired his adopted son to follow in his illustrious footsteps. Navier died prematurely at the age of 51, thus cutting short a distinguished career of public service.


Consumption externalities Cost–benefit analysis Demand theory Dupuit, A.-J. Jointness of consumption Navier, L. Pigou, A. Public goods Public works Samuelson, P, on public goods Subjective utility Utility measurement 

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. F. Hébert
    • 1
  1. 1.