Chamberlin, Edward Hastings

Chamberlin, Edward Hastings

(1899–1967) economist; born in La Couner, Wash. His book, Theory of Monopolistic Competition (1933, eighth and final edition 1962) is regarded as one of the most influential economic books of the 20th century. He spent many years at Harvard University, first as a doctoral student and then in a teaching capacity until his death in 1967. He served as chair of the department of economics during its "Golden Age" (1939–43) when it included several renowned economists. Theory of Monopolistic Competition is a market analysis that incorporates such factors as advertising, product differentiation, style and brand preference, and locational advantages. His interpretation concluded that monopolistic ventures lack long-term advantages to the sellers in the industry and that only normal profits will be realized. His so-called "tangency solution" was the major empirical implication of monopolistic competition theory. A collection of his other papers, Towards a More General Theory of Value, was published in 1957.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Chamberlin, Edward Hastings


Born May 18, 1899, in La Conner, Wash.; died 1967. American economist.

Chamberlin received his higher education at the University of Iowa, the University of Michigan, and Harvard University. Over a period beginning in 1920 he occupied various teaching posts at Michigan and Harvard, as well as at the universities of Paris and Copenhagen. Awarded honorary doctorates by many universities, he was a member of the American Economic Association, of which he became vice-president in 1944; the Royal Economic Society; and the Catholic Economic Association, of which he became vice-president in 1943.

Chamberlin’s research was devoted to an analysis of the relations between monopoly and competition in the capitalist market. In the late 1920’s and early 1930’s he developed the main propositions of the theory of monopolistic competition; the theory was an undisguised apologia on behalf of monopolies, which he believed to be beneficial for capitalist society as a whole. He opposed state interference in the economy and defended “free competition.” Chamberlin made slanderous attacks on the trade union movement and the working class.


Towards a More General Theory of Value. New York, 1957.
The Economic Analysis of Labor Union Power, 3rd ed., Washington, D.C., 1963.
In Russian translation:
Teoriia monopolisticheskoi konkurentsii. Moscow, 1959.


James, E. Istoriia ekonomicheskoi mysli XX v. Moscow, 1959. (Translated from French.)
Bliumin, I. G. Kritika burzhuaznoi politicheskoi ekonomiki, vol. 3. Moscow, 1962.
Kozlova, K. B. Monopolii i ikh burzhuaznye kritiki, Moscow, 1966.
Seligman, B. Osnovnye techeniia sovremennoi ekonomicheskoi mysli. Moscow, 1968. (Translated from English.)
Al’ter, L. B. Burzhuaznaia politicheskaia ekonomiia SShA. Moscow, 1971.
Kozlova, K. B., and R. M. Entov. Teoriia tseny. Moscow, 1972.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.