Nicholas Kaldor’s Notes on Allyn Young’s LSE Lectures 1927‐29

Journal of Economic Studies

ISSN: 0144-3585

Publication date: 1 March 1990


Allyn Young′s lectures, as recorded by the young Nicholas Kaldor, survey the historical roots of the subject from Aristotle through to the modern neo‐classical writers. The focus throughout is on the conditions making for economic progress, with stress on the institutional developments that extend and are extended by the size of the market. Organisational changes that promote the division of labour and specialisation within and between firms and industries, and which promote competition and mobility, are seen as the vital factors in growth. In the absence of new markets, inventions as such play only a minor role. The economic system is an inter‐related whole, or a living “organon”. It is from this perspective that micro‐economic relations are analysed, and this helps expose certain fallacies of composition associated with the marginal productivity theory of production and distribution. Factors are paid not because they are productive but because they are scarce. Likewise he shows why Marshallian supply and demand schedules, based on the “one thing at a time” approach, cannot adequately describe the dynamic growth properties of the system. Supply and demand cannot be simply integrated to arrive at a picture of the whole economy. These notes are complemented by eleven articles in the Encyclopaedia Britannica which were published shortly after Young′s sudden death in 1929.



Sandilands, R.J. (1990), "Nicholas Kaldor’s Notes on Allyn Young’s LSE Lectures 1927‐29", Journal of Economic Studies, Vol. 17 No. 3/4.

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Copyright © 1990, MCB UP Limited

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