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The Economics of Alfred Marshall

  • The Economics of Alfred Marshall by H.J. Davenport

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06/07/1965H. J. Davenport

For many years in classroom and seminar Professor Davenport's primary concern was with criticism and constructive amendment of the doctrinal content of the classical and neo-classical economics. His attitude toward systematic economic theory was never that of the iconoclast. He was indeed a jealous guardian of the economic discipline, and thought of himself as contributing to the perpetuation of an improved body of economic doctrine. Professor Davenport's own contributions to economic theory were frequently couched in the form of more or less controversial comment upon the doctrines of other economists. In his own thinking and in his teaching Marshall especially was a perennial point of reference. The present study, though mainly written in the two years following Professor Davenport's retirement from active academic duties, is therefore the product of more than thirty years' preoccupation with Marshall's economics.

The book is in one sense a finished product and in another it is not. It covers all the ground which Professor Davenport intended to cover and says on all points substantially what he wished to say. His death, however, prevented completion of the final revising and polishing which was under way, this fact may be attributed much unevenness of quality.

The book has been prepared for publication by a committee of the department of economics of Cornell University consisting of Paul T. Homan and M. Slade Kendrick, in collaboration with Margaret F. Milliken, formerly of the department of economics of Stanford University. The members of the committee decided that the manuscript had reached a stage which made it unwise to attempt editorial improvement even of the less perfect parts. It is therefore published almost exactly as it was left. A few obvious errors have been corrected, and a number of repetitive quotations have been removed. Special mention must be made of the services rendered by Miss Milliken who assisted Professor Davenport in the preparation of the manuscript at all stages.


Augustus M. Kelley, New York, 1965

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