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Sir Ralph Hawtrey - An Underappreciated Contribution to Economic Thought

Sir Ralph Hawtrey - An Underappreciated Contribution to Economic Thought

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An essay for the 2012 Undergraduate Awards Competition by Daniel O'Callaghan. Originally submitted for Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Sociology at Trinity College Dublin, with lecturer Antoin Murphy in the category of Business & Economics
An essay for the 2012 Undergraduate Awards Competition by Daniel O'Callaghan. Originally submitted for Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Sociology at Trinity College Dublin, with lecturer Antoin Murphy in the category of Business & Economics

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Published by: Undergraduate Awards on Aug 31, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/27/2013

 
Abstract
 
Born in Slough in 1879, Sir Ralph George Hawtrey was both a policy maker and aneconomic theorist for over 40 years. Publishing 20 academic publications across this period,
he created a reputation as a staunch monetarist. Throughout the 1920’s and 1930’s
,Hawtrey contributed greatly to the development of macroeconomic and monetary thoughtand was the 5th most cited economist across the two decades. However, he is distinctlyabsent from most contemporary economic histories and his work has, largely, beenunderappreciated.The history of macroeconomics is framed by great names such as Keynes, Friedman,Smith et al. While these landmark theorists rightly deserve the recognition, their personaltriumph would simply not of occurred at the times that they did without the small steppingstones laid by a number of unheralded economists. One such example of this is the work of Hawtrey. I pursued this analysis due to the lack of recognition which Hawtrey has received.The essay was well received by my lecturer Professor Antoin Murphy and received a 1
st
classhonours mark. I was delighted to be able to really delve deep into the research of thisfascinating economist and was left with a remarkable knowledge of his work akin to havingcompleted a thesis. The essay proved to be the highlight of my academic year and it is anarea of study that I fully intend to pursue in the future.Through this essay I analysed the areas in which Hawtrey had significant influence inthe development of economic theory. From his influence on Keynes and Friedman to hispioneering development of the finite multiplier, my analysis shows that Hawtrey had asignificant impact. I will also argue as to why his reputation is not as revered as it should be.This paper suggest that while Hawtrey did indeed play a significant role in economic historythere are a number of valid reasons as to why he has been neglected. However, despite thisneglect it is hoped that further analysis of his work will be carried out and that his place inthe history of macroeconomic and monetary theory is given the significant appreciationwhich it deserves. This essay is my personal tribute to the work of Hawtrey and I hope that itis honoured through the Undergraduate Awards so as to serve as a spark for furtherresearch. I really hope that you enjoy the essay and thank you for taking the time to view it.
 
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SIR RALPH HAWTREY: AN UNDERVALUEDCONTRIBUTION TO ECONOMIC THOUGHT
An Analysis of Hawtrey’s 
Impact on the Development of Macroeconomic and Monetary Theory 
 
Sir Ralph George Hawtrey 1879
– 
1975

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