Arthur Cecil Pigou

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
It is unlike economics which, inspite of the long and strenuous advocacy of A.C. Pigou, does not concern itself with social norms or human welfare.
"From the Economics of Welfare to the Economics of Warfare (and back) in the Thought of A.C. Pigou." In Economics and National Security.
Thus in England the rhetorically dazzling Keynes bested the relatively market-oriented A.C. Pigou, Hayek, and Lionel Robbins in the battle for public attention as the downturn worsened.
While the United States traditionally has relied on performance standards, taxing various externalities directly--so-called "Pigouvian taxes," after the British economist A.C. Pigou who advocated them--would provide an alternative approach to reducing the externalities associated with fuel consumption.
Before Coase, on these matters most economists accepted the treatment of "externalities" proposed by British economist A.C. Pigou. Externalities are costs or benefits that bypass the market and thus create a gap between private costs or benefits, on the one hand, and the corresponding social costs or benefits on the other.
Fiscal (tax) policy: Corrective taxes, according to the English economist Pigou (A.C. Pigou, 1920).
For some examples of analyses and presentations of Keynes's ideas, see A.C. Pigou (1936), Etienne Mantoux (1946), Alvin H.
Lately, A.C. Pigou has come to be regarded as the favored economist to explain and model world financial crisis (Cassidy, 2009).
MacGregor of Oxford and five Cambridge men: A.C. Pigou, Keynes, Walter Layton, Arthur Salter, and J.C.
A 1920 article by A.C. Pigou leads off the collection and is the first of nine contributions Verhoef deemed "classic." Following are selections pertaining to dynamic modeling and to second-best congestion pricing.