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James Edward Meade was a British economist who shared the 1977 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with Swedish economist Bertil Ohlin. He was well-known for his contributions to the development of theory in international trade and capital flows. His interest in economics intensified during his college years, and he graduated from Oriel College, Oxford, with a degree from the School of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. He worked at famous institutions such as Hertford College in Oxford, the London School of Economics, and the University of Cambridge during his academic career. He worked as a war economist for the British government during WWII and was one of the most prominent economists of the time. James Meade was a strong supporter of employing fiscal policy to achieve full employment and monetary policy to achieve the government’s balance-of-payments goal. He established a neo-classical model of economic growth known as “Meade’s model of economic growth” as a result of his research. His works ‘Theory of International Economic Policy – Volume I and II’ document the main of his work. James Edward Meade was a British economist who shared the 1977 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with Swedish economist Bertil Ohlin. He was well-known for his contributions to the development of theory in international trade and capital flows. His interest in economics intensified during his college years, and he graduated from Oriel College, Oxford, with a degree from the School of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. He worked at famous institutions such as Hertford College in Oxford, the London School of Economics, and the University of Cambridge during his academic career. He worked as a war economist for the British government during WWII and was one of the most prominent economists of the time. James Meade was a strong supporter of employing fiscal policy to achieve full employment and monetary policy to achieve the government’s balance-of-payments goal. He established a neo-classical model of economic growth known as “Meade’s model of economic growth” as a result of his research. His works ‘Theory of International Economic Policy – Volume I and II’ document the main of his work.

Childhood and Early Years

James Meade was born on June 23, 1907, in Swanage, England, a coastal village.
Between 1917 and 1921, he attended Lambrook School before enrolling at Malvern College, where he studied until 1926. His education was centered on learning Greek and Latin until 1926.

In 1926, he enrolled in Oriel College, Oxford, where he continued his classical study for two years before transferring to the School of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, which had just been formed at the time.
He was given a fellowship to continue his postgraduate studies in Economics at Oxford’s Hertford College. At the same time, he was invited to enter Trinity College, Cambridge, for the academic year 1930-1931 by economist Dennis Robertson. He went on to Trinity College, Cambridge, after that.

Piero Sraffa, Austin Robinson, Richard Kahn, and Joan Robinson were among the economists he met while attending Trinity College. They came together to build the ‘Cambridge Circus.’ The group gathered to debate John Maynard Keynes ‘A Treatise on Money,’ as well as provide input on Keynes’ ongoing theoretical work.

The career of James Meade

James Meade was hired as a lecturer at Hertford College in Oxford in 1931. He was a teacher there till 1937. He and other University economists, including Henry Phelps Brown, Roy Harrod, Lindley Fraser, and Robert Hall, began teaching economics as a regular subject. In the university, this was a novel concept.

James Meade was given the task of teaching economic theory in its entirety. International economics and the economics of mass unemployment were two themes that he was particularly interested in.
During this time, Oxford University had a considerable impact on the League of Nations Union, and James Meade joined the League of Nations’ Economic Section in Geneva in 1937. He edited and published the seventh and eighth volumes of the ‘World Economic Survey.’

Following the outbreak of World War II in 1940, he and his family were compelled to flee Geneva and relocate to England. In England, he became a member of the War Cabinet Secretariat’s Economic Section. In 1946, he was appointed Director, and he remained a member until 1947.

He worked alongside Lionel Robbins and John Maynard Keynes on common economic concerns such as food rationing and pricing plans for nationalized enterprises under their supervision.

During his time in the War Cabinet Secretariat’s Economic Section, James Meade was able to compile the first estimate of national income and expenditure in the United Kingdom. He was also involved in the talks that led to the 1944 White Paper on Employment Policy, in which the UK government acknowledged the importance of government policy in maintaining employment.

In 1947, he was named professor of business at the London School of Economics. He was assigned to teach international economics while also beginning to write his own book.

‘The Balance of Payments,’ which focused on global relations between several national economies developed on the Keynesian model, and ‘Trade and Welfare,’ which applied the theory of economic welfare to international business, including situations where ‘Free Trade’ is beneficial and detrimental to an economy, were published during his decade-long tenure at the London School of Economics.

He moved from London to Cambridge in 1957 to take up the chair of Political Economy, which he held until 1967. He went on to Christ’s College in Cambridge as a Senior Research Fellow in 1967. In 1974, however, he resigned from the fellowship.

He began working on his project to write about domestic issues of economic theory and policy during this time. He wrote four volumes on the subject, titled ‘The Stationary Economy,’ ‘The Growing Economy,’ ‘The Controlled Economy,’ and ‘The Just Economy.’

In 1974, he was elected Chairman of a committee established by the Institute for Fiscal Studies with the goal of examining the UK’s direct taxation structure. Economists, important practitioners in tax law, administration, and accounting were among the committee’s members.

He devised a neo-classical model of economic growth based on his investigations, which aimed to mimic how the most basic kind of economic system would act during economic growth.

The neoclassical model was built on 10 assumptions, including that the economy was closed, that no government activity was engaged, that markets had ideal competition, that all machinery was similar, and that only two commodities were considered- consumption and capital goods, and so on.

In addition, the net production was influenced by four factors: the available net stock of capital, the available labor force, the availability of land and natural resources, and the level of technical expertise.

‘National Income and Expenditure’ with Richard Stone (1944), ‘The Theory of International Economic Policy (1951-1955), ‘Efficiency, Equality, and the Ownership of Property (1964), ‘Wage Fixing’ (1982), and ‘Demand Management’ with David Vines are some of his other literary works (1983).

Major Projects of James Meade

James Meade was an economist whose contributions to world economic policy were well-received. His work on international trade theory and international capital movements is particularly well-known. He wrote numerous notable economics works, including ‘National Income and Expenditure,’ ‘Efficiency, Equality, and Property Ownership,’ and ‘Demand Management.’ Every trade economist considers his work, ‘Theory of International Economic Policy,’ to be a bible.

Achievements & Awards

The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences was presented jointly to James Meade and Bertil Ohlin in 1977 for their “pathbreaking contribution to the theory of international commerce and international capital flows.”

Personal History and Legacy

James Meade married Margaret Wilson in 1933. One son and three daughters were born to the couple.
At the age of 88, he died on December 22, 1995, in Cambridge.