Handbook on the History of Economic Analysis Volume I
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Handbook on the History of Economic Analysis Volume I

Great Economists Since Petty and Boisguilbert

Edited by Gilbert Faccarello and Heinz D. Kurz

Volume I contains original biographical profiles of many of the most important and influential economists from the seventeenth century to the present day. These inform the reader about their lives, works and impact on the further development of the discipline. The emphasis is on their lasting contributions to our understanding of the complex system known as the economy. The entries also shed light on the means and ways in which the functioning of this system can be improved and its dysfunction reduced. Each Handbook can be read individually and acts as a self-contained volume in its own right. It can be purchased separately or as part of a three-volume set.
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Chapter 88: Roy Forbes Harrod (1900–1978)

Micha'l Assous


Harrod was born in Norfolk on the 13 February 1900 to Henry Dawes Harrod, businessman, and his wife Frances (née Forbes-Robertson), novelist. Following the ruin of his father’s business, Harrod won a scholarship to go up to St Paul’s, leaving two years later to enter Westminster as a King’s Scholar. In 1919, he began studies in philosophy and modern history at Oxford, which led him in 1922 to take up a Tutorial Fellowship at Christ Church. In order to learn more about economics, Harrod was allowed to spend his first term at Cambridge where he took weekly essays on money and international trade to John Maynard Keynes. Once back at Oxford, he attended Francis Y. Edgeworth’s lectures on microeconomics. In the early 1930s Harrod came to grips with the theories of imperfect competition developed by Edward Chamberlin and Joan Robinson (Harrod 1934). Meanwhile, drawn into the Circus – a group of young economists involved in the elaboration of Keynes’s General Theory – he got deep insight into Keynesian economics (Eltis 2008). In 1936, drawing on both his microeconomic and macroeconomic backgrounds, he published his first book, The Trade Cycle (1936), in which he laid out for the first time the analytical foundations for the multiplier-accelerator model. This book, as well as “An essay in dynamic theory” (1939), marks an important step in the history of macroeconomics. Here, Harrod set the research agenda of the post-war work on economic dynamics. His work on the theory of the firm occupied a good deal...

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