Arthur Cecil Pigou

(redirected from Arthur Pigou)
Also found in: Financial.

Pigou, Arthur Cecil


Born Nov. 18, 1877, in Ryde, Isle of Wight; died Mar. 7, 1959, in Cambridge. English economist, representative of the Cambridge school of bourgeois political economy.

A student and follower of A. Marshall, Pigou was educated at Cambridge University, where he occupied the chair of political economy from 1908 until 1943. He was a member of the Committee on Currency and Foreign Exchange in 1918-19, the Royal Commission on Income Tax in 1919-20, and the Chamberlain Committee on Currency in 1924-25. The report of the last committee led to a short-lived restoration of the gold standard in Great Britain.

Pigou investigated a variety of economic issues, including tariff policy, cyclical fluctuations in industrial production, employment, and state finances. His Economics of Welfare (1920), which was first published in 1912 as Wealth and Welfare, already contains the seed of the later theory of the welfare state. Pigou’s elaboration of the concept of the economics of welfare helped make the necessity of state intervention in economic life a tenet of bourgeois economics. The bourgeois essence of Pigou’s economic views is especially evident in his approach to unemployment, which he considered a consequence of supposedly excessive wages for workers. Such an interpretation is theoretically unsound and in practice is directed against the interests of the working class.


Industrial Fluctuations. London, 1929.
The Economics of Stationary States. London, 1935.
Employment and Equilibrium. London, 1949.
A Study in Public Finance. London, 1949.


References in periodicals archive ?
There are two kinds of externalities: pecuniary externalities advocated by Alfred Marshall and technical externalities advocated by Arthur Pigou that are further classified into positive and negative technical externalities.
Like Arthur Pigou and other classical British economists, Stern uses a near-zero discount rate in summing future costs and benefits.
A former Bush economic advisor, Greg Mankiw, recently announced the formation of the Pigou Club (named for the British economist Arthur Pigou, a colleague of John Maynard Keynes), an informal and involuntary alliance of economists and commentators who advocate carbon or energy taxes, or other "Pigovian" taxes that have the simultaneous effect of raising revenues and reducing consumption of something undesirable.
After all, as has been portrayed in the seminal work of Arthur Pigou, The Economics of Welfare, governments are usually perceived as both the natural provider of public goods and a corrector of externalities.