Abstract: This paper evaluates Wicksteed's role in the propagation of Jevonian marginalism
into the second generation against the backdrop of Wicksteed's explicit identification with the economics of Jevons and his avowed aim to explain and extend the Jevonian framework.
The survey of largely pre-twentieth century economics covers developments in: pre-classical political economy, addressing ancient and medieval economics, the contributions of medieval Muslim scholars, Mercantilism and Physiocracy and pre-classical political economy in France and in Britain; classical political economy, with chapters on Adam Smith, classical economics, post-Ricardian British economics, Karl Marx and the surplus interpretation of classical economics; historical schools, addressing the German and English schools and American economics prior to 1900; and marginalism
, with chapters on early English marginalism
, Austrian marginalism
and early general equilibrium economics.
'Mill and Cairnes and the emergence of marginalism
in England', History of Political Economy, 4 (2), pp.
The dynamic elements of production were accommodated within pure economics by supplementing orthodox 'marginalism
' with an additional focus on 'ultramarginal' production (potential minimum additional product that would be produced if production were to be increased) and 'ultramarginal' utility (potential decrease in marginal utility if the ultramarginal product were to be produced).
Butlin on marginalism
and on the historical school, classes which barely brought the course into the twentieth century (Louis Haddad recalls that in 1961 Butlin's lectures ended with Marshall's Cambridge successors and the cost controversies).
There is little marginalism
here, more of an affiliation with the Older Historical School, but, mostly, a presentation of a 'comprehensive theory of development' (p.
On the other hand, this idea of the repudiation of marginalism
as a restoring of common sense should be handled with care, and might be dangerous.
Clarke, Simon (1991), Marx, Marginalism
and Modern Sociology, London, UK: Macmillan.
and Mathematical Economics." In John R.
" which had begun in 1871 with the simultaneous
The ruthless manner in which these circles stifled the alleged second-rate thinkers induced many to claim that they also discriminated against innovations (such as Jevon's marginalism
and Cliffe Leslie's historicism), or settled scores (such as the way Cairnes belittled his TCD contemporaries) or favoured insiders (such as the favourable treatment of the clubbable Fawcett compared to the shabby treatment of Hearn in distant Melbourne).
A methodological debate was flourishing in the second half of the XIX century, between logical positivism and marginalism
. The so called marginal revolution was intellectually led by three names: Carl Menger (founder of the Austrian school of economics), William Stanley Jevons and Leon Walras (University of Laussane).