The Elgar Dictionary of Economic Quotations
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The Elgar Dictionary of Economic Quotations

  • Elgar original reference

Edited by Charles Robert McCann

The Elgar Dictionary of Economic Quotations is a unique compendium of quotations on subjects of interest to economists and those who are generally intrigued by the social sciences. The coverage is not merely confined to economists, but includes quotes from essayists, jurists, philosophers, politicians, religious leaders, revolutionaries, scientists, and numerous other important figures who have contributed to our understanding of economic matters. Presented in a highly readable format, this impressive volume contains the thoughts and opinions of hundreds of individuals on issues relating to the economy, government, money, poverty, wealth, and a host of other important topics.
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Jacob Viner (1892–1970)

economics and economists:

1 The economist should not refrain from making his special contribution to decisions of public importance because of a doctrinnaire adherence to an academic standard of scientific uninterestedness more appropriate – or less wasteful – in the physical laboratory than in the field of the social sciences.

Round Table Conference on the Relation Between Economics and Ethics ( 1922 ): 199

2 There are many economists; not quite so many good economists.

‘The Tariff Question and the Economist’ ( 1931 ), Part I: 593

3 [A] brilliant English economist discovered a few years ago that in the long run we will all be dead, and ever since economists have been somewhat apologetic and shamefaced about their ancient habit of taking the long view. It has been suggested, however, that the ‘we’ in this epigram is somewhat ambiguous, and that in its ambiguity resides all its force. It is the special function of the social scientist to attract attention to the policies necessary if assurance is to be had that there shall still be life, if not for us, then for our descendants, after the short-run is over. If the academic scholar tends to tilt the balance between the short and the long run somewhat unduly in favour of the distant and uncertain future, it is a providential counterpoise against the excessive predilection of the politician with the short life and the merry one – while it lasts!

‘The Tariff Question and the Economist’ ( 1931 ), Part I: 593


4 I find it difficult to conceive what useful purposes the formal definition of the scope p. 206of a discipline can serve, except the purposes of editors of encyclopedias and administrators of educational institutions, whose responsibility it may be to prevent overlapping, to obtain full coverage, and to arbitrate jurisdictional disputes. No damage is likely to be incurred by economics if serious consideration of these jurisdictional questions is confined to those for whom it is an unavoidable occupational responsibility.

Studies in the Theory of International Trade ( 1937 ), Appendix: 594