Jevons, William Stanley

Jevons, William Stanley

▪ English economist and logician
born September 1, 1835, Liverpool, England
died August 13, 1882, near Hastings, Sussex
 English logician and economist whose book The Theory of Political Economy (1871) expounded the “final” (marginal) utility theory of value. Jevons's work, along with similar discoveries made by Karl Menger (Menger, Carl) in Vienna (1871) and by Léon Walras (Walras, Léon) in Switzerland (1874), marked the opening of a new period in the history of economic thought.

      Jevons broke off his studies of the natural sciences at University College, London, in 1854 to take a post as assayer in Sydney, Australia. There he became interested in political economy and social studies. After his return to England in 1859, he completed two of his most original and seminal papers. The first, “General Mathematical Theory of Political Economy” (1862), outlined what came to be known as the marginal utility theory of value. This theory suggests that the utility or value to a consumer of an additional unit of a product is (at least beyond some critical quantity) inversely related to the number of units of that product he already owns. The second, “A Serious Fall in the Value of Gold” (1863), attempted to measure the rise in prices in the period following the gold discoveries in California and Australia. This work represents one of the greatest contributions to the theory of index numbers ever published. Yet it was not until the publication of The Coal Question (1865), in which Jevons called attention to the gradual exhaustion of Britain's coal supplies, that he received public recognition. He feared that as the supply of coal was exhausted, its price would rise. That conclusion was wrong, however, because it failed to account for improvements in the technology used to extract coal.

      In 1866 Jevons was appointed to a chair of political economy at Owens College, Manchester. He moved to University College in 1876. Of his works on logic and scientific methods, the most important is his Principles of Science (1874). His other notable works include The Theory of Political Economy (1871) and The State in Relation to Labour (1882).

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  • Jevons, William Stanley — (1835–1882) British political economist and logician. Jevons was educated at London, and taught at Manchester and London. He wrote various works on logic, and in 1870 exhibited a ‘logical piano’ or primitive mechanical computer, at the Royal… …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Jevons, William Stanley — ► (1835 82) Lógico y economista británico. Desarrolló el concepto de utilidad marginal como base de las leyes de cambio. Autor de Teoría de economía política …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • JEVONS, WILLIAM STANLEY —    logician and political economist, born in Liverpool; in 1866 was professor of Logic of Owens College, Manchester, and 10 years later professor of Political Economy in University College, London; distinguished himself in the departments of both …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Jevons, William Stanley — (1835 1882)    Logician and economist, b. in Liverpool, s. of an iron merchant, his mother was the dau. of W. Roscoe (q.v.). He was ed. at the Mechanics Institute High School, Liverpool, and at University Coll., London. After studying chemistry… …   Short biographical dictionary of English literature

  • William Stanley Jevons — (né le 1er septembre 1835, mort le 13 août 1882) est un économiste et un logicien anglais, considéré comme co fondateur de l école néoclassi …   Wikipédia en Français

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  • William Stanley Jevons — (* 1. September 1835 in Liverpool; † 13. August 1882 in Bexhill on Sea) war ein bedeutender englischer Ökonom und Philosoph. Er gilt als Vertreter der Cambridger Schule der Neoklassik …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • William Stanley Jevons — Infobox Scientist name = William Stanley Jevons box width = 200 image width = 175 caption = birth date = birth date|1835|9|1 birth place = Liverpool, England death date = death date and age|1882|8|13|1835|9|1 death place = near Hastings, England… …   Wikipedia

  • William Stanley — puede hacer referencia a: William Ford Robinson Stanley (1829 1909), inventor británico. William Stanley Jevons (1835 1882), economista británico. William Stanley, Jr (1858 1916), físico e inventor británico. William Stanley Merwin, poeta… …   Wikipedia Español

  • William Stanley Jevons — noun English economist and logician who contributed to the development of the theory of marginal utility (1835 1882) • Syn: ↑Jevons • Instance Hypernyms: ↑economist, ↑economic expert, ↑logician, ↑logistician …   Useful english dictionary

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