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Robert GIFFEN

economist

Robert GIFFEN, economist. Founder, Royal Economic Society, United Kingdom; President, Royal Statistical Society, United Kingdom, 1882-1884.

Background

GIFFEN, Robert was born in 1837 in Strathaven, Scotland.

Career

Through his frequent contributions to the press and learned journals he was able to disseminate knowledge of the use of official statistics. He was not a theoretical statistician but nevertheless achieved important progress in difficult fields, such as the measurement of national income. The so-called ‘Giffen Paradox’ was an exception to the general law of demand for which Marshall gave him credit, apparently without warrant.

Giffen also wrote on the quantity theory of money. Despite his official post he was an enthusiastic public campaigner for free trade and against bimetallism. Journalist, 1860-1871.

Official, State Section, United Kingdom Board Trade, 1871-1897.

Achievements

  • Founder, Royal Economic Society, United Kingdom. President, Royal Statistical Society, United Kingdom, 1882-1884.

Works