Meet 5 Economists Who Transformed American History

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Economists Who Changed American History

“An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn’t happen today.” The quote greatly defines the work of an economist. In today’s world, the global economy has had a huge impact on the quality of our lives. This is because of the research of various economists around the world. In this blog, let us have a look at some of the influential Economists who changed American history. 

John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) 

John Maynard Keynes

John Maynard Keynes was among the influential Economists who changed history. He was born in Cambridge on 5 June 1883 and died in Tilton on 21 April 1946. His father was John Neville Keynes, now a Historian, author of The Scope and Method of Political Economy which he wrote in 1891, and later a clerk at Cambridge University

Keynes was trained at Eton with the aid of a scholarship. He then proceeded to King’s College, Cambridge, when he completed a degree in Mathematics in 1905. He then spent another year at Cambridge attending university there under the-dean of British economics, Alfred Marshall, and also under his classmate and predecessor as Professor of Political Economy at Cambridge, Arthur Pigou. Keynes then joined the civil service, where he served in the Indian Office for over two years, even though he never came to India.

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Alfred Marshall (1842-1924) 

Alfred Marshall
Photo Credits – Artuk.org

Marshall was born in London, and although he initially intended to be a clergyman, his success at Cambridge brought him to university and made him one of the influential Economists who changed American history. Marshall may have been the least known of the great economists because he has not championed any controversial ideas. Yet he is accredited with seeking to apply empirical Mathematics to Economics in an effort to turn Economics into a theory than theory. 

In spite of his focus on Mathematics, Marshall possessed the capacity to make his study available to ordinary people; his “Economics of Industry” which was published in 1879 and became commonly used as a curriculum in England. He also spent approximately ten years working on the much more scientific “Principles of Economics” (1890), which emerged to be his most valuable research. This is most associated with propagating supply and demand curves, marginal cost and variable revenue of output in a single model.

Adam Smith (1723-1790)

Credits – Youtube (Economics Explained)

Adam Smith was a philosopher who had become influential economists who changed American history in the wake of the Scottish Enlightenment. It is known best for The Principle of Religious Feelings (1759) and The Survey of the Existence and Sources of the Prosperity of Nations (1776). The above normally alluded to as the Riches of Nations, is one of the largest and most popular treaties on business and commerce, and one of the biggest contributors to contemporary mainstream philosophy. 

Smith attended Glasgow University at the age of 15 and pursued moral philosophy. His initial interest in Christianity developed towards a more deist-like mindset. Smith’s claims towards mercantilism and in pursuit of free trade were a significant threat to much of the protectionist policies, tariffs and gold standards that existed in the mid-18th century; today he is also considered the father of modern economics.

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Milton Friedman’s (1912-2006) 

Credits – The Fraser Institute

Milton Friedman was also one of four children to be born to Jewish immigrants from Austria-Hungary. After earning his Bachelor of Arts degree at Rutgers and his Master’s degree at the University of Chicago, he went to New Deal, a collection of systems created by the U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt that can provide relaxation and rehabilitation from the great depression. Though Friedman was largely in support of the New Deal, he was resistant to many other structural reforms and fixed prices. 

Especially in comparison to Keynes, Milton Friedman was something of a laissez-faire Economist, in order to minimise the function of leadership in the market economy. These ideas became the foundation of his book “Capitalism and Freedom” (1962) and made him one of the Influential Economists Who Changed American History. Maybe mainly remembered for encouraging open trade and credited for the idea of modern foreign exchange markets, uncontrolled and unencumbered by the values of valuable stones (reflecting a mantra of “money is worth what people think it is worth”).

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David Ricardo (1772-1823)

David Ricardo

A broad family may have added to Ricardo’s drive; he was the third child of 17 children from the Jewish Portuguese family. His approaches to the theory of economics come with a more realistic perspective than Adam Smith’s which made him into one of the Influential Economists Who Changed American History. Ricardo lived with his father to work on the London Stock Exchange at the age of 14 and soon became active in hypothesising on stocks and bonds. After discovering Smith’s The Riches of Nations in 1799, he developed an interest in economics, while his first economics paper was written about ten years later. 

Ricardo had become a member of the British Assembly, serving the district of Ireland in 1819. His finest book, “An Essay on the Influence of a Low Price of Corn on the Profits of Stock” (1815), argued that, at the time, corn laws were abolished in order to help distribute capital, preceded by the Ideals of Political Economy and Taxation (1817). Ricardo was best known for his conviction that countries should strive for the common good.

This was all about the influential economists who changed American history. Interested in pursuing a career in Economics? Contact our Leverage Edu experts who will help you with your career goals. Book a session now!

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