Great Economists Since Petty and Boisguilbert
Edited by Gilbert Faccarello and Heinz D. Kurz
Chapter 95: John Richard Hicks (1904–1989)
Life Hicks was the first British economist who was awarded the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel in 1972. He jointly won the prize with Kenneth Arrow “for their pioneering contributions to general equilibrium theory and welfare theory”. Hicks was one of the last great decathletes in economics with good medal chances in many specific areas. He was born on 8 April 1904 at Warwick, England, where his father was a journalist at a local newspaper. From 1917 to 1922 he was educated at Clifton College, and thereafter he studied at Balliol College, Oxford. Having first specialized in mathematics, Hicks moved to the new programme in “philosophy, politics and economics” (PPE) in 1923. After working as a junior reporter for the Manchester Guardian for six months, Hicks received a temporary lectureship at the London School of Economics (LSE) in 1926, where he finally taught until 1935. It was the LSE, where Robbins in fall 1929 started a research seminar that made him an economist. In 1935 Hicks married Ursula Webb, a distinguished scholar in public finance, who remained his closest intellectual companion until her death in 1985. Through his friendship with Dennis Robertson, he accepted Pigou’s offer of a university lectureship in Cambridge in summer 1935 where he stayed for three years, also as a Fellow of Gonville and Caius College. While at Cambridge he finished his work on Value and Capital (1939) but also wrote his two well-known articles reviewing Keynes’s General Theory (1936,...
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