Joan Violet Robinson FBA (née Maurice; 31 October 1903 – 5 August 1983) was a British economist well known for her wide-ranging contributions to economic theory. She was a central figure in what became known as post-Keynesian economics.
Robinson in 1973
Joan Violet Maurice
31 October 1903
|Died||5 August 1983 (aged 79)|
|Influences||Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes, Piero Sraffa, Michał Kalecki|
|Contributions||Joan Robinson's growth model|
Before leaving to fight in the Second Boer War, Joan's father, Frederick Barton Maurice, married Margaret Helen Marsh, the daughter of Frederick Howard Marsh, and the sister of Edward Marsh, at St George's, Hanover Square. Joan Maurice was born in 1903, a year after her father's return from Africa.
During the World War II, Robinson worked on a few different Committees for the wartime national government. During this time, she visited the Soviet Union as well as China, gaining an interest in underdeveloped and developing nations.
Robinson was a frequent visitor to Centre for Development Studies (CDS), Thiruvananthapuram, India. She was a Visiting Fellow at the Centre in the mid-1970s. She instituted an endowment fund to support public lectures at the Centre. She was a frequent visitor to the Centre until January, 1982 and participated in all activities of the Centre and especially student seminars. Professor Robinson donated royalties of two of her books (Selected Economic Writings, Bombay: Oxford University Press, 1974, Introduction to Modern Economics (jointly with John Eatwell), Delhi; Tata McGraw Hill, 1974) to CDS.
Also, Robinson made several trips to China, reporting her observations and analyses in China: An Economic Perspective (1958), The Cultural Revolution in China (1969), and Economic Management in China (1975; 3rd edn, 1976), in which she praised the Cultural Revolution. In October 1964, Robinson also visited North Korea, which implemented social reforms and collectivisation at the time, and wrote in her report "Korean Miracle" that the country's success was due to "the intense concentration of the Koreans on national pride" under Kim Il-sung, "a messiah rather than a dictator". She also stated in reference to the division of Korea that "[o]bviously, sooner or later the country must be reunited by absorbing the South into socialism." During her last decade, she became more and more pessimistic about the possibilities of reforming economic theory, as expressed, for example, in her essay "Spring Cleaning".
She studied economics at Girton College, Cambridge, and immediately after graduation in 1925, she married the economist Austin Robinson. In 1937, she became a lecturer in economics at the University of Cambridge. She joined the British Academy in 1958 and was elected a fellow of Newnham College in 1962. In 1965 she assumed the position of full professor and fellow of Girton College. In 1979, just four years before she died, she became the first female honorary fellow of King's College.
As a member of "the Cambridge School" of economics, Robinson contributed to the support and exposition of Keynes' General Theory, writing especially on its employment implications in 1936 and 1937 (it attempted to explain employment dynamics in the midst of the Great Depression).
In 1933 her book The Economics of Imperfect Competition, Robinson coined the term "monopsony," which is used to describe the buyer converse of a seller monopoly. Monopsony is commonly applied to buyers of labour, where the employer has wage setting power that allows it to exercise Pigouvian exploitation and pay workers less than their marginal productivity. Robinson used monopsony to describe the wage gap between women and men workers of equal productivity.
In 1962 she published Essays in the Theory of Economic Growth, another book on growth theory, which discussed Golden Age growth paths. Afterwards she developed the Cambridge growth theory with Nicholas Kaldor. She was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1964.
Near the end of her life she studied and concentrated on methodological problems in economics and tried to recover the original message of Keynes' General Theory. Between 1962 and 1980 she wrote many economics books for the general public. Robinson suggested developing an alternative to the revival of classical economics.
The Cultural Revolution in China is written from the perspective of trying to understand the thinking that lay behind the revolution, particularly Mao Zedong's preoccupations. Mao is seen as aiming to recapture a revolutionary sense in a population that had known only, or had grown used to, stable Communism, so that it could "re-educate the Party" (pp. 20, 27); to instill a realisation that the people needed the guidance of the Party and much as the other way round (p. 20); to re-educate intellectuals who failed to see that their role in society, like that of all other groups, was to 'Serve the People' (pp. 33, 43); and finally to secure a succession, not stage-managed by the Party hierarchy or even by Mao himself but the product of interaction between a revitalised people and a revitalised Party (p. 26).
On the whole, the book emphasises the positive aspects of Mao's "moderate and humane" intentions (p. 19) rather than the "violence and disorder" that broke out, we are told, "from time to time", occurrences "strongly opposed" (ibid.) to Mao's wishes. Robinson recognises and appears to endorse a revision to classical Marxism in Mao's view of the relation of base to superstructure: "On the classical view, there is one-way determination between base and superstructure but Mao shows how the superstructure may react upon the base: Ideas may become a material force" (p. 12). She acknowledges that "Old-fashioned Marxists might regard this as a heresy, but that is scarcely reasonable" (ibid.).
In June 2019, the United States Supreme Court used Robinson's monopsony theory in its decision for Apple vs Pepper. Justice Brett Kavanaugh delivered the majority opinion, stating Apple can be sued by application developers, "on a monopsony theory."
At least two students who studied under her have won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences: Amartya Sen and Joseph Stiglitz. In his autobiographical notes for the Nobel Foundation, Stiglitz described their relationship as "tumultuous" and Robinson as unused to "the kind of questioning stance of a brash American student"; after a term, Stiglitz therefore "switched to Frank Hahn". In his own autobiography notes, Sen described Robinson as "totally brilliant but vigorously intolerant".
Joan's father was Frederick Barton Maurice, her mother was Margaret Helen Marsh.
The distinguished London surgeon and Cambridge academic Howard Marsh was Joan Robinson's maternal grandfather.
Allan W. Holman, Jr. (July 28, 1929 – September 6, 2010) is a former Republican member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. He was born in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, in 1929. He married Joan Robinson and raised a family of three children, Andrew, Robin, and Anne. He later had eight grandchildren, Jenn, Sarah, Rachael, Robbie, Sam, Andy, Elliott, and Julian. After serving as a state Representative, he continued his career as a lawyer, and began the Law Offices of Holman and Holman with daughter Robin. He also created plans for Little Buffalo State Park; thus the park lake was named "Holman Lake" in his honor. Though referred to as "Holman's Mudhole" in the beginning, the park became a beautiful spot for hikers, swimmers, boaters, and fishing enthusiasts.
Throughout his life, Holman also donated money to various charities. He volunteered with the Boy Scouts, and served as a member of many organizations throughout Perry County. He also spent a lot of time watching sports, Penn State being his favorite team.An Essay on Marxian Economics
An Essay on Marxian Economics is a 1942 book about Karl Marx by the economist Joan Robinson. The first work by a major British economist to show interest in Marx since the 19th century, it has received both praise and criticism from commentators.Athanasios Asimakopulos
Athanasios "Tom" Asimakopulos (Greek: Αθανάσιος Ασημακόπουλος) (May 28, 1930 – May 25, 1990) was a Canadian economist, who was the "William Dow Professor of Political Economy" in the Department of Economics, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. His monograph, Keynes's General Theory and Accumulation, reviews important areas of Keynes's General Theory and the theories of accumulation of two of his most distinguished followers, Roy Harrod and Joan Robinson.Austin Robinson
Sir Edward Austin Gossage Robinson, (20 November 1897 – 1 June 1993, Cambridge, England) was a University of Cambridge economist. He was an undergraduate at Christ's College, Cambridge, and a fellow of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.
A close associate of John Maynard Keynes, Robinson served as assistant editor during Keynes's time as editor of The Economic Journal; following Keynes's retirement in 1944, Robinson took over the joint editorship with Roy Harrod. He was at the centre of economic policy-making during and after the Second World War, holding posts in the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Production and the Board of Trade. Robinson spent the postwar years working as a professor, editor, and economic adviser.In the course of his life, Robinson also served as a seaplane pilot during the First World War, and spent two years in the 1920s tutoring a Maharajah in India. Disillusioned after his service in the war, Robinson found Keynes's lectures on his The Economic Consequences of the Peace to be "a revelation," influencing Robinson's entry into the study of economics.He was president of the International Economic Association from 1959 to 1962.
The Faculty of Economics at the University of Cambridge is located in the Austin Robinson Building, a tribute to Robinson's contributions to the subject.Robinson was the husband of economist Joan Robinson. They had two daughters. Austin's brother was the Rt Revd Christopher Robinson, an Anglican bishop (firstly Bishop of Lucknow and later Bishop of Bombay).Cambridge Journal of Economics
The Cambridge Journal of Economics is a peer-reviewed academic journal of economics. The journal was founded in 1977 by the Cambridge Political Economy Society with the aim of publishing articles that followed the economic traditions established by Karl Marx, J. M. Keynes, Michał Kalecki, Joan Robinson, and Nicholas Kaldor. Luigi Pasinetti has noted the "strong ties" between the Cambridge Journal of Economics and the Cambridge School of Keynesian Economics.Death of Joan Robinson Hill
The death of Joan Robinson Hill at 38 years old led to her husband, John Hill, becoming the first person to be indicted by the State of Texas on the charge of murder by omission. The case precipitated a series of events that included the 1972 murder of John Hill and, two years later, the fatal police shooting of the man accused of that murder.
She died following a short illness on March 19, 1969. Autopsy examinations failed to determine a cause of death beyond an infection from an unknown source. Her father, Ash Robinson, subsequently accused Hill of poisoning his daughter, and petitioned the district attorney to prosecute her husband for murder. Hill's murder trial was held in February 1971 but ended in a mistrial. As a second trial was approaching, Hill was gunned down by an intruder at his home. A suspect, Bobby Wayne Vandiver, was arrested and indicted for the murder, but was killed in a shootout with police before his trial. Two other suspects, Marcia McKittrick and Lilla Paulus, were convicted as accomplices to Hill's murder and served time in prison.
The case was the subject of Thomas Thompson's 1976 book Blood and Money and the 1981 made-for-television film Murder in Texas.Industrial organization
In economics, industrial organization or industrial economy is a field that builds on the theory of the firm by examining the structure of (and, therefore, the boundaries between) firms and markets. Industrial organization adds real-world complications to the perfectly competitive model, complications such as transaction costs, limited information, and barriers to entry of new firms that may be associated with imperfect competition. It analyzes determinants of firm and market organization and behavior as between competition and monopoly, including from government actions.
There are different approaches to the subject. One approach is descriptive in providing an overview of industrial organization, such as measures of competition and the size-concentration of firms in an industry. A second approach uses microeconomic models to explain internal firm organization and market strategy, which includes internal research and development along with issues of internal reorganization and renewal. A third aspect is oriented to public policy as to economic regulation, antitrust law, and, more generally, the economic governance of law in defining property rights, enforcing contracts, and providing organizational infrastructure.The extensive use of game theory in industrial economics has led to the export of this tool to other branches of microeconomics, such as behavioral economics and corporate finance. Industrial organization has also had significant practical impacts on antitrust law and competition policy.The development of industrial organization as a separate field owes much to Edward Chamberlin, Joan Robinson, Edward S. Mason, J. M. Clark, Joe S. Bain and Paolo Sylos Labini, among others.Jan Kregel
Jan A. Kregel (born 19 April 1944) is an eminent post-Keynesian economist.
Kregel has served since 2006 as Professor of Finance and Development at Tallinn University of Technology, Tallinn, Estonia. He is an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins SAIS (SAIS), whose Bologna Center he co-directed in the late 1980s, and a visiting professor at the University of Missouri–Kansas City. He is also one of the Senior Scholars at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. Until 2007, he was Chief of the Policy Analysis and Development Branch of the Financing for Development Office of United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Until 2004, he was High Level Expert in International Finance and Macroeconomics in the New York Liaison Office of UNCTAD, being in essence its chief economist. For many years, he held the Chair for Political Economy at the University of Bologna.
Kregel studied mainly at the University of Cambridge (with Joan Robinson and Nicholas Kaldor) and Rutgers University (Ph.D. 1970 under supervision of Paul Davidson). He is a Life Fellow of the Royal Economic Society in London and in 2000 he co-founded The Other Canon, a center and network for heterodox economics research, with main founder and executive chairman Erik Reinert."In the 1970-75 period, Professor Kregel was concerned with synthesis, integration and delineation of a Post Keynesian methodology and paradigm. From the mid-1970s until the late 1980s, he worked on the analysis of decision making under uncertainty, on formation of asset prices and on Keynes analysis of Chapter 17 of the General Theory. In 1988, Professor Kregel showed that Keynes’ liquidity preference and own rate analysis were actually two sides of the theory of effective demand. His most recent works on price formation and market structure provide a powerful critique of neoclassical price theory and propose a Keynesian alternative in which expectations of the future go into the determination of current price determination and in which institutional arrangements undergird the process of price formation." (University of Missouri in Kansas City)
Professor Kregel is the Program Director for the Master of Science in Economic Theory and Policy of the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. The Program was started in 2014.Joan Robinson's growth model
Joan Robinson, in her book The Accumulation of Capital published in 1956, propagated a simple growth model, which reflects the working of a pure capitalist economy, also known as "Joan Robinson's Growth Model". However, the Accumulation of Capital was a terse book and in one of her other books entitled Essays in the theory of Economic Growth, she tried to lower the degree of abstraction. The growth model was propagated in verbal terms, where later on the mathematical formalization was put forward by Kenneth K. Kurihara.
There is a laissez-faire closed economy.
The factors of production are capital and labour only.
There is neutral technical progress.
There are only two classes: workers and capitalists, among whom the national income is distributed.
Workers save nothing and spend their wage income on consumption.
Capitalists consume nothing, but save and invest their entire income for capital formation.
There is no change in the price level.
Saving is a function of profit.Joan Robinson Hill
Joan Olive Robinson Hill (February 6, 1931 – March 19, 1969) was a socialite and equestrian from Houston, Texas. Her unexplained death at age 38 led to her husband, John Hill, becoming the first person to be indicted by the state of Texas on the charge of murder by omission. The case precipitated a series of events that included the 1972 murder of John Hill and, two years later, the fatal police shooting of the man accused of that murder. Adopted as an infant by wealthy oil tycoon Davis "Ash" Robinson and his wife, Rhea, Joan became an equestrian at a young age. She excelled and continued the sport into adulthood, ultimately winning several national titles.After two youthful marriages that ended in divorce, Joan married plastic surgeon John Hill in 1957. After a tumultuous marriage, she died following a short illness on March 19, 1969. Autopsy examinations failed to determine a cause of death beyond an infection from an unknown source. Ash subsequently accused John of poisoning Joan, and petitioned the district attorney to prosecute John for murder. John's murder trial was held in February 1971 but ended in a mistrial. As a second trial was approaching, John was gunned down by an intruder at his home. A suspect, Bobby Wayne Vandiver, was arrested and indicted for the murder, but was killed in a shootout with police before his trial. Two other suspects, Marcia McKittrick and Lilla Paulus, were convicted as accomplices to John's murder and served time in prison.
The case was the subject of Thomas Thompson's 1976 book Blood and Money and the 1981 made-for-television film Murder in Texas.List of museums in Saint Kitts and Nevis
This is a list of museums in Saint Kitts and Nevis.
National Museum of Saint Kitts in Saint George Basseterre
Nevis Historical and Conservation Society museums:Alexander Hamilton Museum
Museum of Nevis History in Saint Paul Charlestown
Joan Robinson Biodiversity and Oral History Resource CentreMonopolistic competition
Monopolistic competition is a type of imperfect competition such that many producers sell products that are differentiated from one another (e.g. by branding or quality) and hence are not perfect substitutes. In monopolistic competition, a firm takes the prices charged by its rivals as given and ignores the impact of its own prices on the prices of other firms. In the presence of coercive government, monopolistic competition will fall into government-granted monopoly. Unlike perfect competition, the firm maintains spare capacity. Models of monopolistic competition are often used to model industries. Textbook examples of industries with market structures similar to monopolistic competition include restaurants, cereal, clothing, shoes, and service industries in large cities. The "founding father" of the theory of monopolistic competition is Edward Hastings Chamberlin, who wrote a pioneering book on the subject, Theory of Monopolistic Competition (1933). Joan Robinson published a book The Economics of Imperfect Competition with a comparable theme of distinguishing perfect from imperfect competition.
Monopolistically competitive markets have the following characteristics:
There are many producers and many consumers in the market, and no business has total control over the market price.Consumers perceive that there are non-price differences among the competitors' products.There are few barriers to entry and exit.Producers have a degree of control over price.The long-run characteristics of a monopolistically competitive market are almost the same as a perfectly competitive market. Two differences between the two are that monopolistic competition produces heterogeneous products and that monopolistic competition involves a great deal of non-price competition, which is based on subtle product differentiation. A firm making profits in the short run will nonetheless only break even in the long run because demand will decrease and average total cost will increase. This means in the long run, a monopolistically competitive firm will make zero economic profit. This illustrates the amount of influence the firm has over the market; because of brand loyalty, it can raise its prices without losing all of its customers. This means that an individual firm's demand curve is downward sloping, in contrast to perfect competition, which has a perfectly elastic demand schedule.Monopsony
In economics, a monopsony (from Ancient Greek μόνος (mónos) "single" + ὀψωνία (opsōnía) "purchase") is a market structure in which a single buyer substantially controls the market as the major purchaser of goods and services offered by many would-be sellers. In the microeconomic theory of monopsony, a single entity is assumed to have market power over sellers as the only purchaser of a good or service, much in the same manner that a monopolist can influence the price for its buyers in a monopoly, in which only one seller faces many buyers.Neo-Ricardianism
The neo-Ricardian school is an economic school
that derives from the close reading and interpretation of David Ricardo by Piero Sraffa, and from Sraffa's critique of neo-classical economics as presented in his The Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities, and further developed by the neo-Ricardians in the course of the Cambridge capital controversy. It particularly disputes neo-classical theory of income distribution.
Prominent neo-Ricardians are usually held to include Pierangelo Garegnani, Krishna Bharadwaj, Luigi Pasinetti, Joan Robinson, John Eatwell, Fernando Vianello, Murray Milgate, Ian Steedman, Heinz D. Kurz, Neri Salvadori, Bertram Schefold, Fabio Petri, Massimo Pivetti, Franklin Serrano, Fabio Ravagnani, Roberto Ciccone, Sergio Parrinello, Alessandro Roncaglia, Maurice Dobb, Gilbert Abraham-Frois, Theodore Mariolis and Giorgio Gilibert.
The school partially overlaps with post-Keynesian and neo-Marxian economics.Nevis Historical and Conservation Society
The Nevis Historical and Conservation Society (NHCS) is a nonprofit non-governmental organisation (NGO) based in the Caribbean island of Nevis, founded in 1980 to protect the cultural and natural heritage of the island.Post-Keynesian economics
Post-Keynesian economics is a school of economic thought with its origins in The General Theory of John Maynard Keynes, with subsequent development influenced to a large degree by Michał Kalecki, Joan Robinson, Nicholas Kaldor, Sidney Weintraub, Paul Davidson, Piero Sraffa and Jan Kregel. Historian Robert Skidelsky argues that the post-Keynesian school has remained closest to the spirit of Keynes' original work. It is a heterodox approach to economics.Robin Hahnel
Robin Eric Hahnel (born March 25, 1946) is an American economist and professor of economics at Portland State University. He was a professor at American University for many years and traveled extensively advising on economic matters all over the world. He is best known for his work on participatory economics with Z Magazine editor Michael Albert.
Hahnel is a radical economist and political activist. Politically he considers himself a product of the New Left and is sympathetic to libertarian socialism. He has been active in many social movements and organizations for forty years, notably as a participant in student movements opposed to the American invasion of South Vietnam, more recently with the Southern Maryland Greens, a local chapter of the Maryland Green Party, and the Green Party of the United States. Hahnel's work in economic theory and analysis is informed by the work of Marx, Keynes, Piero Sraffa, Michał Kalecki, and Joan Robinson, among others. He has served as a visiting professor or economist in Cuba, Peru, and England.Structure–conduct–performance paradigm
The structure–conduct–performance (SCP) paradigm, first published by economists Edward Chamberlin and Joan Robinson in 1933, and developed by Joe S. Bain is a model in Industrial Organization Economics which offers a causal theoretical explanation for firm performance through economic conduct on incomplete markets.
According to the structure–conduct–performance paradigm, the market environment has a direct, short-term impact on the market structure. The market structure then has a direct influence on the firm's economic conduct, which in turn affects its market performance. Therein, feedback effects occur such that market performance may impact conduct and structure, or conduct may affect the market structure. Additionally, external factors such as legal or political interventions affect the market framework and, by extension, the structure, conduct and performance of the market.Victoria Chick
Victoria Chick (born 1936) is a Post Keynesian economist who is best known for her contributions to the understanding of Keynes's General Theory and to the establishment of Post Keynesian economics in the UK and elsewhere.