He won a scholarship to Harrow School where he was in Newlands House and became the first modern head of school. He came to economics through the study of philosophy and ethics under the Moral Science Tripos. He studied economics under Alfred Marshall , whom he later succeeded as professor of political economy. In his early days he lectured on a variety of subjects outside economics. He devoted himself to exploring the various departments of economic doctrine, and as a result published the works on which his worldwide reputation rests.
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He won a scholarship to Harrow School where he was in Newlands House and became the first modern head of school. He came to economics through the study of philosophy and ethics under the Moral Science Tripos.
He studied economics under Alfred Marshall , whom he later succeeded as professor of political economy. In his early days he lectured on a variety of subjects outside economics. He devoted himself to exploring the various departments of economic doctrine, and as a result published the works on which his worldwide reputation rests. The English economist specifically studied under Alfred Marshall and focused on normative economics.
He became intrigued by welfare economics which examines the overall benefit to society that comes from all the decisions made, those that people make about buying, selling and working, and that firms make about production and employment.
He held the post until Pigou argued that negative externalities costs imposed should be offset by a tax, while positive externalities should be offset by a subsidy. The externality concept remains central to modern welfare economics and particularly to environmental economics. The Pigou Club , named in his honour is an association of modern economists who support the idea of a carbon tax to address the problem of climate change. Pigou was generally critical of Keynesian macroeconomics and developed the idea of the Pigou effect on real money balances to argue that the economy would be more self-stabilizing than Keynes proposed.
Keynes states that Pigou is unable to devise any satisfactory formula to evaluate new equipment against old when, owing to changes in technique, the two are not identical. I believe that the concept at which Professor Pigou is aiming is the right and appropriate concept for economic analysis. But, until a satisfactory system of units has been adopted, its precise definition is an impossible task. He was a conscientious objector to military service when it required an obligation to destroy human life.
Towards the end of the war he reluctantly accepted a post in the Board of Trade , but showed little aptitude for the work. The report of the last body was the prelude to the much criticised restoration of the gold standard at the old parity of exchange.
Pigou was elected to the British Academy in , but resigned in In later years he withdrew from national affairs and devoted himself to more academic economics and writing weighty letters to The Times on problems of the day. He was a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences , a foreign member of the Accademia dei Lincei , and an honorary resident of the International Economic Committee.
He loved mountains and climbing, and introduced climbing to many friends, such as Wilfrid Noyce and others, who became far greater climbers. An illness affecting his heart developed in the early s, however, and this affected his vigour, curtailing his climbing and leaving him with phases of debility for the rest of his life. In his later years he gradually became more of a recluse, emerging occasionally from his rooms to give lectures or to take a walk.
Browning as a Religious Teacher, The Riddle of the Tariff, Principles and Methods of Industrial Peace, Wealth and Welfare,
Arthur Cecil Pigou : biographie, ouvrages et théories
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