Great Economists Since Petty and Boisguilbert
Edited by Gilbert Faccarello and Heinz D. Kurz
Chapter 44: Alfred Marshall (1842–1924)
Alfred Marshall was born on 26 July 1842 in the London suburb of Bermondsey into a lower middle-class family, which subsequently moved to the suburb of Clapham. After attending the Merchant Taylors’ School, thanks to a loan from an Australian uncle and an open exhibition to St John’s College he entered Cambridge University and in 1865 completed the Mathematical Tripos. A Fellow of St John’s, in 1868 he was appointed Lecturer in Moral Science and lectured on political economy. In 1875 he visited the United States to study at first hand the costs and benefits of protectionism. The manuscripts he was working on, collected in Whitaker (1975), were partly printed by Henry Sidgwick in 1879 under the titles The Pure Theory of Foreign Trade and The Pure Theory of Domestic Values. After his marriage to Mary Paley, one of his women students of the foundation that was to become Newnham College, in 1877, he had to resign his Fellowship, as celibacy requirements at Cambridge University were not removed until 1882. The young couple moved to Bristol, where Alfred became Principal of University College and later Professor of Political Economy. In 1879 Alfred and Mary published The Economics of Industry, a primer of political economy. In 1881 he resigned his posts and spent a year in Palermo, where he started to compose Principles of Economics. After another year spent in Bristol, and one in Oxford as lecturer to candidates for the Indian Civil Service, in January 1885 he returned to Cambridge...
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