This biography of the English applied economist, Arthur (A.J.) Brown, sets his work from the 1930s to the 1980s in the context of the Great Depression, the emergence of Oxford University as a centre of applied economic research, the contraction of British colonialism in Africa, the enlarging of the UK university system, the post-war arms race, the UK joining the Common Market, and significant changes in the industrial structure of Britain.
Brown’s approach epitomized the role the applied economist. His career included pioneering analysis in Keynesian economics, serving on official bodies concerned with decolonisation, and membership in the UN’s group to examine the economic implications of disarmament, the UK’s Hunt Committee, and the EEC’s MacDougall Commission. He was also heavily involved in building the Economics Department at Leeds University and serving on the University Grants Committee. Through Brown’s experiences, we are granted a unique perspective on applied economics research at Oxford University in 1930s as well as reviews of early debates over the Phillips Curve, the role of economics in British decolonisation policy, and the importance of UK regional policy in the 1970s.
Arthur Brown’s appreciation of both the technical side of economics and the need for practical, real-world advice for decision-makers makes this a important resource for academics interested in the history of economic ideas, inflation, liquidity preference, Keynesian economics, regional policy, decolonisation, and university finances, as well as economists working in government and industry.