(ROBBINS, Lionel.) WICKSTEED, Philip Henry.

The Alphabet of Economic Science.

Part I [all published]. Elements of the theory of value or worth.

London: Macmillan and Co., and New York, 1888 Stock Code: 140615

The copy of Lionel Robbins

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First edition, the copy of the British economist Lionel Robbins, with his ownership signature on the front free endpaper, and one inked marginal line on p. 43. An excellent economics provenance: Robbins, along with Keynes, was the leading British economist during the inter-war period; at the London School of Economics, he "dominated the economics department for thirty years and built it up to its pre-eminent position in British economics" (ODNB). Wicksteed's first work, The Alphabet of Economic Science is fundamentally a basic textbook of new economics. It did much to popularise the adjective "marginal" and the term "marginal analysis" and received the approbation of both Edgeworth and Pareto. Robbins was influenced by Wicksteed, even if Wicksteed's analysis developed following the Alphabet: "The origin of Robbins's own emphasis on the subjective nature of valuation is undoubtedly Wicksteed, and the Austrians. Wicksteed himself had switched, between his Alphabet and his Common Sense, from a marginal utility approach to one purely or ranking; and it is instructive that Robbins still retained traces of a marginal utility approach in the first edition of ENSES, though it was replaced in the second" (O'Brien, Lionel Robbins, p. 96).

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Small octavo. Original green cloth, lettered in black.


With 10 folding plates and numerous figures in the text.


Front pastedown with contemporary bookplate of F. A. White and Foyles ticket. Spine rolled and a little sunned, lightly rubbed, endpapers toned, contents clean. A good copy.


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