Joan Robinson

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Harry Potter is not the only celebrity to ever grow up in Surrey; Joan Robinson grew up there, too. Born Joan Violet Maurice in 1903, this formidable economist, who never won a Nobel prize (most likely on the account of her sex), changed the world by learning to change her views. Originally a neo-classical, Joan Robinson grew to become one of John Maynard Keynes’ best supporters. She even wrote her magnus opus (best work), The Accumulation of Capital, a book that took the notorious short-term Keynesianism into the long-term. After her three-year stay in India, Joan Robinson returned to England in 1929 and took up a teaching position at the University of Cambridge. In 1933 Joan Robinson published what she is most famous for, the theory of imperfect competition (any microeconomics book would explain this theory). Possessing an interrogative nature, Joan Robinson was interested in the works of several economists. In 1942, Robinson legitimized Karl Marx by her essay on Marxian Economics. At the advent of WWII, Joan Robinson served on several committees for the Wartime National Government, during which time Robinson managed to visit China and the former Soviet Union. These trips augmented her interest in underdeveloped and developing nations. Ironic as it is, the lifetime Robinson spent studying growth, she culminated in attempting to grow economies most in need of it. Today we cannot study the selling conditions of any market or firm without referring to Joan Robinson’s theories in one way or another.

 

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