History of economics at LSE

photo: The Fabian Window, Shaw Library

This website will provide contributions towards a History of Economics at LSE, curated by Jim Thomas, Emeritus Reader in Economics and Research Associate at STICERD.


The History of Economics at LSE: A Summary

While it is often difficult to divide history up into convenient periods, it is possible to propose such a division when looking at the development of Economics at LSE. I would suggest the following division: (1) 1895 – 1929: The Era of Edwin Cannan; (2) 1929 – 1961: The Era of Lionel Robbins and (3) 1961 to date: Post-Robbins and the ‘Americanisation’ of Economics.

Selected Topics

There have been a number of articles that discuss economics at LSE at particular times or present biographical information about individual economists and references to many of them are listed in the Summary above. The Economics Department and individual economists are also discussed at various points in Ralph Dahrendorf's History of the London School of Economics and Political Science 1895-1995. However, no complete study of 'The History of Economics at the LSE' has been published to date. I am undertaking such a study in 'Was there ever a 'London' School of Economics?' and information on this project is given below. A number of other topics are presented in the launch of the website and more will be added over time.

Jim Thomas
February 2019

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