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Alec George FORD

Alec George FORD, economist in the field of European Economic History; Latin American Economic History; International Monetary Arrangements. George Webb Medley Senior Scholar, Oxford University, 1951-1953; Member, Economics and Social History Committee, United Kingdom-Social Science Research Council, United Kingdom or United States of America, 1977-1981; Pro-Vice-Chancellor, University Warwick, 1971-1972, 1977-1983, 1983-1985.

Background

  • FORD, Alec George was born in 1926 in Leicester, Leicestershire, England.

  • Education

    • Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts Doctor of Philosophy University Oxford, 1951, 1954, 1956.

    Career

    • Lector Economics, Senior Lector, University Leicester, 1953-1963, 1963-1965. Reader Economics, University Warwick, 1965-1970. Professor of Economics, University Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom, since 1970.

    Major achievements

    • George Webb Medley Senior Scholar, Oxford University, 1951-1953. Member, Economics and Social History Committee, United Kingdom-Social Science Research Council, United Kingdom or United States of America, 1977-1981. Pro-Vice-Chancellor, University Warwick, 1971-1972, 1977-1983, 1983-1985.

    Views

    My interest as an economist in historical problems was first aroused by work on my doctoral dissertation on the gold standard in Argentina before 1914. I came to realise the important role which economic analysis could play in explaining historical episodes. Furthermore, I became sensitive to the distinct feedback from history to the reshaping of economic analysis in terms of appropriate assumptions to make and processes to emphasise as well as the ways economic analysis was constrained in practice by social, political and institutional factors.

    Besides my contributions to Argentine economic history, I have tackled various problems in international and British economic history before 1914 — how the gold standard really worked. How Britain accomplished the transfer of its overseas lending. How British economic fluctuations and crises might be explained.

    In each of these I found it valuable to adopt a predominantly Keynesian style of analysis but I have come to recognise that, in the long run, the monetary approach has a contribution to offer as well. I have sought to encourage the quantitative approach to economic history in Britain, at the same time emphasising the role of economic analysis (and not only the neoclassical approach!) as well as quantitative techniques.

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