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The First Serious OptimistA. C. Pigou and the Birth of Welfare Economics$
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Ian Kumekawa

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691163482

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691163482.001.0001

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Retreat to the Ivory Tower

Retreat to the Ivory Tower

(p.111) Chapter Five Retreat to the Ivory Tower
The First Serious Optimist

Ian Kumekawa

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses Pigou's withdrawal to the academy at Cambridge, which did not merely indicate a changing perception of the possibilities of government action. This withdrawal also signaled that the dream to engage in efforts that directly affected welfare was fading. These developments occurred, however, during the period of Pigou's career that would prove the most productive, a period when he consolidated his reputation as the most eminent economic voice of his generation. As he stepped back from participating in issues of policy, he was ascendant as a scientist “of the chair.” It is not unlikely that Pigou himself took some satisfaction in this transformation.

Keywords:   liberalism, Cambridge, academic journals, academic economics, Industrial Fluctuations, A Study in Public Finance

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