8 April: Remembering John Richards Hicks on Birthday

OV Digital Desk

Sir John Richards Hicks (8 April 1904 – 20 May 1989) was a British economist who made significant contributions to the field of microeconomics and macroeconomics. He was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1972.

Life and Career

He was born on 8 April 1904 in Warwick, England, UK. He received his education at a number of institutions in the United Kingdom. He studied at Clifton College in Bristol before going on to attend Balliol College at the University of Oxford. He graduated with a first-class degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) in 1926.

After completing his undergraduate studies, Hicks moved to the London School of Economics (LSE), where he pursued a Ph.D. in economics. His thesis, which was published as a book in 1932, was titled “The Theory of Wages”.

He continued his academic career at the LSE, where he was appointed a lecturer in economics in 1930. He was promoted to reader in 1935 and became a professor of economics in 1938. He remained at the LSE for much of his career, although he also held visiting appointments at a number of other universities around the world.

He made significant contributions to the fields of microeconomics, macroeconomics, and welfare economics. He is best known for his work on the theory of value and capital, which developed a mathematical theory of consumer behavior and demonstrated how prices and quantities are determined in a market economy. This work helped to lay the foundations for modern microeconomic theory.

He developed the concept of the IS-LM model, which explains the relationship between interest rates and output in an economy.

He also made important contributions to the theory of economic growth and international trade. He developed the concept of the “Hicks-neutral” technical change, which describes a type of technological progress that does not affect the relative prices of factors of production.

He was also an important figure in the development of welfare economics. He developed the concept of “compensating variation,” which measures the amount of money needed to compensate an individual for a change in their economic circumstances. This concept has been widely used in the analysis of public policy.

Hicks was a prolific writer, and his works continue to influence economic research and policy today. Some of his most important works include “Value and Capital” (1939), “A Theory of Economic History” (1969), and “Capital and Growth” (1965).

He died on 20 May 1989 in Blockley, England, UK.

Award and Legacy

He was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1972 for his pioneering work in the theory of general equilibrium and welfare economics. His work laid the foundations for modern microeconomics, and his contributions to macroeconomics, economic growth theory, and international trade continue to be influential.

Overall, John Hicks’ legacy is that of a brilliant economist who made significant contributions to economic theory and methodology. His work has had a lasting impact on the development of microeconomics, macroeconomics, and welfare economics, and his influence continues to be felt in economic research and policy today.

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