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 93: George Lennox Sharman Shackle (1903–1992)

Brian J. Loasby


George Shackle was born in Cambridge on 14 July 1903. Following his father to Perse School, he gained entrance to his father’s college, St Catherine’s, but could not take it up because he failed to win a scholarship. Instead he became a bank clerk. This prompted a crucial change of focus: at St Catherine’s he would probably have read modern languages, but for banking the study of economics seemed more appropriate. Though subsequently moving to a tobacco company and then becoming a schoolteacher, he persisted, eventually gaining a London external degree in 1931. By then he was contemplating a lifetime commitment. Thus a distressing failure became a precondition of unimagined success, and Shackle’s own career an exemplar of his own system of thought. Private study of Keynes’s Treatise on Money (1930) and Hayek’s Prices and Production (1933) prompted an article which was published in the first issue of the Review of Economic Studies (Shackle 1933). This led to a research studentship at the London School of Economics (LSE), a PhD and his first book, published in 1938. By then he had moved to Oxford, working with Henry Phelps Brown and writing papers for which he was awarded a DPhil in 1940. Soon after the outbreak of war he was called from a lectureship at St Andrews to join Lindemann’s team working for Churchill, transferring after the war to the Economics Section of the Cabinet Secretariat. In 1950, at the age of 47, he was appointed Reader at Leeds, moving after...

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