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The First Serious Optimist – A. C. Pigou and the Birth of Welfare Economics - Princeton Scholarship Online
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The First Serious Optimist: A. C. Pigou and the Birth of Welfare Economics

Ian Kumekawa


This book is an intellectual biography of the British economist A. C. Pigou (1877–1959), a founder of welfare economics and one of the twentieth century's most important and original thinkers. Though long overshadowed by his intellectual rival John Maynard Keynes, Pigou was instrumental in focusing economics on the public welfare. And his reputation is experiencing a renaissance today, in part because his idea of “externalities” or spillover costs is the basis of carbon taxes. The book tells how Pigou reshaped the way the public thinks about the economic role of government and the way economis ... More

Keywords: A. C. Pigou, welfare economics, public welfare, carbon taxes, economic ideas, optimist, Labour Party, interwar period, British economist

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780691163482
Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018 DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691163482.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ian Kumekawa, author
Harvard University