The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Cheysson, Jean-Jacques Emile (1836–1910)

  • R. F. Hébert
Reference work entry


French engineer, economist and statistician, Cheysson was born in Nîmes and died in the Swiss Alps. Schooled at the Ecole Polytechnique and the Ecole des Ponts et Chaussées, he served with distinction in the Corps of Civil Engineers, demonstrating his ingenuity during the German siege of Paris (1870) by converting train stations to flour mills (using locomotive engines as the power source), thereby increasing bread production. Only when wheat supplies were eventually exhausted did the city finally capitulate. After the armistice, Cheysson became factory director at Creusot, the huge industrial complex that was bombed during World War II, where he immersed himself in the microeconomics of the firm and began to develop an analytical programme which anticipated the main lines of what we now call econometrics.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Colson, L.C. 1913. Notice sur la vie et les travaux de M. Emile Cheysson. Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques. Séances et travaux 179: 153–187.Google Scholar
  2. Hébert, R.F. 1972. A note on the historical development of the economic law of market areas. Quarterly Journal of Economics 86(November): 563–571.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Hébert, R.F. 1973. Wage cobwebs and cobweb-type phenomena: An early French formulation. Western Economic Journal 11(December): 394–403.Google Scholar
  4. Hébert, R.F. 1974. The theory of input selection and supply areas in 1887: Emile Cheysson. History of Political Economy 6: 109–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Schumpeter, J.A. 1954. In History of economic analysis, ed. E.B. Schumpeter. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Staehle, H. 1942. Statistical cost functions: Appraisal of recent contributions. American Economic Review 32(June): 321–333.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. F. Hébert
    • 1
  1. 1.