Famous British Economists

An economist is a person who studies and develops the theories and concepts of economics. A branch of social science, economics is a wide-ranging field and includes many sub-fields on which an economist studies and makes his references. Economists create, propose and implement policies by understanding the intricacies of the subject. Though this a separate branch of social science, the world has been witness to numerous instances wherein people from various backgrounds such as mathematics, business, political science, law, sociology and even history turn into being prominent economists. Just like every other country in the world, Britain too has a long list of economists who have served for the welfare of the country. The list include names like William Beveridge most famous for his 1942 report Social Insurance and Allied Services, Sir Anthony Tony Atkinson noted for establishing the British field of inequality and poverty, John Hicks well-known for his pioneering on general economic equilibrium theory, James Meade famed for his path breaking contribution to the theory of international trade and capital movements, and the recent Nobel laureate Angus Deaton. Check this segment to find out more about noted and famous British economists, their life, their works, their theories and their analysis.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 John Maynard Keynes

John Maynard Keynes.
6
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: June 5, 1883
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Cambridge ,England
Died: April 21, 1946

John Maynard Keynes was an English economist. His ideas are credited with changing the theory and practice of the economic policies and macroeconomics of governments at a fundamental level. Counted among the 20th century's most influential economists, Keynes' ideas are the basis for Keynesian economics. In 1999, he was named in Time magazine's Most Important People of the Century list.

 2 John Stuart Mill

John Stuart Mill.
4
Famous As: British Philosopher and Civil Servant.
Birthdate: May 20, 1806
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Pentonville, London, England
Died: May 8, 1873
Nineteenth-century philosopher John Stuart Mill is best remembered for his work On Liberty, which spoke of personal freedom and "the harm principle.” His The Subjection of Women was one of the first works written by a male author that promoted women's rights. He supported Jeremy Bentham's ethical utilitarianism.
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 3 Thomas Robert Malthus

Thomas Robert Malthus.
6
Famous As: Political Economist
Birthdate: February 13, 1766
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Surrey, England
Died: December 23, 1834

Thomas Robert Malthus was an English economist and demographer, who viewed poverty as man’s unavoidable destiny. Author of An Essay on the Principle of Population; he believed that increase in national food production results in feeling of well-being, leading to population growth, which in turn results in poverty. Commonly referred as Malthusianism, it made immediate impact on British social policy.

 4 David Ricardo

David Ricardo.
4
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: April 18, 1772
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London
Died: September 11, 1823
One of the greatest classical economists ever, David Ricardo had started working with his stockbroker father at age 14. His laissez-faire policies revolutionized 19th-century economics and its various concepts, such as the distribution theory and the wage theory. He had also been an MP from Portarlington.

 5 George Osborne

George Osborne.
4
Famous As: Politician, Economist
Birthdate: May 23, 1971
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paddington

Conservative Party politician George Osborne is the son of Osborne & Little co-founder Sir Peter Osborne. He initially aspired to be a journalist but started his career as an MP from Tatton and later served as the Chancellor Of The Exchequer and the First Secretary of State of the U.K.

 6 Alfred Marshall

Alfred Marshall.
3
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: July 26, 1842
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bermondsey
Died: July 13, 1924

One of the co-founders of the English neoclassical school of economics, 19th-century economist Alfred Marshall is best remembered for his path-breaking book Principles of Economics. His studies on topics such as marginal utility, consumer’s surplus, and the elasticity of demand, enriched the field of economics for years to come.

 7 Niall Ferguson

Niall Ferguson
4
Famous As: Writer, Economic historian, Historian, University teacher, Journalist, Economist
Birthdate: April 18, 1964
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Glasgow

Harvard professor and Stanford senior fellow Niall Ferguson is a Scottish historian who has penned countless books, such as The Pity of War and The House of Rothschild. Named to Time 100 in 2004, he also created an Emmy-winning series, The Ascent of Money and wrote for Bloomberg.

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 8 Ronald Coase

Ronald Coase.
3
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: December 29, 1910
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Willesden, London, United Kingdom
Died: September 2, 2013

British-American economist and Nobel laureate Ronald Coase was a significant figure of new institutional economics. As a child, he attended a school for the disabled due to weakness in his legs. The Chicago Law School professor is remembered for his iconic essays such as The Nature of the Firm.

 9 Angus Deaton

Angus Deaton
3
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: October 19, 1945
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland

British-American economist and Nobel laureate Angus Deaton revolutionized applied economics with his work on consumption, savings, poverty, and development. Apart from teaching at Princeton, he has penned multiple award-winning papers and given rise to concepts such as the Deaton Paradox. He was also the first to receive the Frisch Medal.

 10 Emma Georgina Rothschild

Emma Georgina Rothschild
3
Famous As: Economic historian, Historian, University teacher, Economist
Birthdate: May 16, 1948
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London

Apart from being one of the heiresses of the affluent Rothschild banking family, Emma Georgina Rothschild is also a famous economic historian, a Harvard professor, and a former United Nations Foundation board member. She has also worked at MIT and Cambridge and is married to Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen.

 11 Evan Davis

Evan Davis
3
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: April 8, 1962
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Malvern, Worcestershire Malvern, Worcestershire, England

Renowned economist and award-winning BBC journalist Evan Davis is best known for presenting shows such as Dragons' Den, Newsnight, and Today. The Oxford and Harvard alumnus has also been BBC's economics editor and has co-authored books such as Public Spending. He is openly gay and is married to a French architect.

 12 Joan Robinson

Joan Robinson
3
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: October 31, 1903
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Surrey, England
Died: August 5, 1983

Post-Keynesian economist Joan Robinson specialized in monetary economics and is remembered for her research and academic activities in India, China, and Korea. Initially a Cambridge lecturer, she later taught at Girton College and became the first woman to be made an honorary fellow of King's College.

 13 William Beveridge

William Beveridge.
3
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: March 5, 1879
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Rangpur, Bangladesh
Died: March 16, 1963

Born to a British civil servant in British India, William Beveridge was educated at Oxford. While he initially excelled in math and classics, he later studied law. A leading economist, he created the Beveridge Report, which formulated the welfare state policies in the U.K. after World War II.

 14 John R Hicks

John R Hicks.
3
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: April 8, 1904
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Warwick, England
Died: May 20, 1989

Noted British economist Sir John Hicks, counted among the leading economists of the twentieth century, made significant contributions to general equilibrium theory and welfare theory for which he jointly received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. His book Value and Capital is regarded as a classic exposition of microeconomic theory and includes extension of general equilibrium theory.

 15 Harriet Martineau

Harriet Martineau
3
Famous As: Linguist, Journalist, Economist, Historian, Translator, Writer, Sociologist, Essayist, Feminist
Birthdate: June 12, 1802
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Norwich
Died: June 27, 1876

Regarded by many as the first female sociologist, Harriet Martineau was a prominent 19th-century social theorist, classical economist, and intellectual who penned the iconic work The Positive Philosophy of Auguste Comte. She was partially deaf and had lost her sense of taste and smell in childhood.

 16 William Stanley Jevons

William Stanley Jevons
3
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: September 1, 1835
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Liverpool, England
Died: August 13, 1882

A pioneer of the mathematical method in economics, William Stanley Jevons was the son of an iron merchant and economic enthusiast. Remembered for his studies on marginal utility and supply/demand, he penned the iconic work A General Mathematical Theory of Political Economy and also wrote on Britain’s depleting coal supplies.

 17 Frank P. Ramsey

Frank P. Ramsey
3
Famous As: Mathematician, Philosopher, Economist
Birthdate: February 22, 1903
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cambridge
Died: January 19, 1930

British philosopher and mathematician Frank P. Ramsey was the son of a famed mathematician and later laid down the Ramsey theory of mathematical logic. The Cambridge alumnus also translated Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus but died at age 26, probably due to a liver infection he contracted while swimming.

 18 Arvind Panagariya

Arvind Panagariya
3
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: September 30, 1952
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: India

Padma Bhushan-winning Indian-American economist and Columbia University professor Arvind Panagariya is known for his iconic books such as India: The Emerging Giant and Why Growth Matters. The Princeton alumnus has worked at the IMF and UNCTAD and been the Asian Development Bank’s chief economist and the NITI Aayog’s first vice chairman.

 19 Walter Bagehot

Walter Bagehot
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Famous As: Journalist, Economist, Political scientist, Writer, Sociologist
Birthdate: February 3, 1826
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Somerset
Died: March 24, 1877

Born to Stuckey's Bank MD Walter Bagehot was initially part of his father’s shipping and banking business. He later became the editor-in-chief of The Economist and married the publication’s founder James Wilson’s daughter. He penned path-breaking works such as Lombard Street and The English Constitution and co-established National Review.

 20 Nicholas Barbon

Nicholas Barbon
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Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: 1640 AD
Birthplace: London, England
Died: 1698 AD

The son of a preacher, economist Nicholas Barbon actively participated in reconstructing London following the Great Fire of 1666 and then launched his own insurance company, pioneering fire insurance. As an economist, he penned significant works on the free market and division of labor. He was also a qualified doctor.

 21 E. F. Schumacher

E. F. Schumacher
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Famous As: Economist, Philosopher, Statistician
Birthdate: August 16, 1911
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bonn
Died: September 4, 1977

German-born British economist E. F. Schumacher was one of the significant figures behind the formation of Britain’s post-World War II welfare state plans. His ground-breaking book Small Is Beautiful explained how capitalism was detrimental to culture. He also developed the concept of intermediate technology.

 22 Lionel Charles Robbins, Baron Robbins

Lionel Charles Robbins, Baron Robbins
3
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: November 22, 1898
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sipson, Middlesex, England
Died: May 15, 1984

A leading free-market and neoclassical economist, Lionel Charles Robbins, or Baron Robbins, was known for his association with the London School of Economics. The son of a farmer, he trained to fight at World War I but went back home wounded. He also laid down his own definition of economics.

 23 Oliver Hart

Oliver Hart
3
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: October 9, 1948
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England

British-American economist and Harvard professor Oliver Hart was born to a medical researcher father and a gynecologist mother. The Cambridge and Princeton alumnus later won a Nobel Prize with Bengt Holmström for their research on contract theory. He has also taught at MIT and LSE.

 24 Christopher A. Pissarides

Christopher A. Pissarides
2
Famous As: Economist, University teacher
Birthdate: February 20, 1948
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Nicosia

Nobel Prize-winning British-Cypriot economist Christopher A. Pissarides is best known for his work on the frictions in search markets. He also contributed to the development of the concept of matching functions. He penned the iconic book Equilibrium Unemployment Theory and was also knighted for his achievements.

 25 Arthur Cecil Pigou

Arthur Cecil Pigou
2
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: November 18, 1877
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ryde, Isle of Wight, England
Died: March 7, 1959

One of Alfred Marshall’s favorite students, Arthur Cecil Pigou was initially a history scholar at King's College but later deviated to economics. One of the most significant figures of neoclassical economics, he specialized in welfare economics and penned pathbreaking works such as The Economics of Welfare.

 26 Harold Laski

Harold Laski
3
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: June 30, 1893
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Manchester, England
Died: March 24, 1950

Political scientist and Labour Party member Harold Laski later deviated to Communism. Born to a cotton merchant, he studied at Oxford and then taught at Harvard. Remembered for his works such as A Grammar of Politics and Authority in the Modern State, he was also a Zionism supporter.

 27 William Whewell

William Whewell
3
Famous As: Economist, Physicist, Historian, Philosopher, Writer, University teacher, Mathematician
Birthdate: May 24, 1794
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lancaster
Died: March 6, 1866

William Whewell was an English polymath, scientist, philosopher, theologian, and historian of science. He worked in a wide range of fields, publishing works in the disciplines of physics, mechanics, geology, economics, and astronomy. He also wrote poetry, sermons, and theological tracts. He is credited with coining the terms linguistics, physicist, consilience, scientist, catastrophism, and uniformitarianism.

 28 Francis Ysidro Edgeworth

Francis Ysidro Edgeworth
2
Famous As: Economist, Statistician, Lawyer, Mathematician
Birthdate: February 8, 1845
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: County Longford
Died: February 13, 1926

Francis Ysidro Edgeworth was an Anglo-Irish economist and statistician, known for his significant contributions to the methods of statistics. An autodidact in mathematics and economics, he imaginatively applied mathematics to the fields of economics and statistics, writing several books, including Mathematical Psychics, presenting new ideas on various topics like on the generalized utility function, the indifference curve etc.  .

 29 Tim Harford

Tim Harford
3
Famous As: economist, journalist
Birthdate: September 27, 1973
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: England

Journalist and economist Tim Harford has penned bestsellers such as The Undercover Economist, which is also the title of his popular Financial Times column. A TED speaker, he also presented the BBC radio series More or Less and is the only journalist to be a Royal Statistical Society honorary fellow.

 30 William Playfair

William Playfair
2
Famous As: Economist, Mathematician, Engineer, Statistician
Birthdate: September 22, 1759
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dundee
Died: February 11, 1823

Scottish engineer and political economist William Playfair is best-remembered as the inventor of statistical graphs and secret agent for Great Britain during its war with France. He published the first data graphs in his book The Commercial and Political Atlas. He used line, area and bar charts to represent the economy of 18th Century England and introduced the pie chart.

 31 Antony C. Sutton

Antony C. Sutton
2
Famous As: Economist, Engineer, Historian, University teacher
Birthdate: February 14, 1925
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London
Died: June 17, 2002

British-American researcher, historian, economist, writer and professor Antony Cyril Sutton served as a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution for War, Revolution and Peace and as a professor of economics at California State University, Los Angeles. He authored 25 books and is best-known for his book America's Secret Establishment: An Introduction to the Order of Skull and Bones.

 32 Martin Wolf

Martin Wolf
2
Famous As: journalist, economist, university teacher
Birthdate: March 16, 1946
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London

British journalist Martin Harry Wolf presently works with the Financial Times as a associate editor and chief economics commentator. He was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in 2000 in recognition to his services to financial journalism.  

 33 William Petty

William Petty
2
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: May 26, 1623
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Romsey, Hampshire, England
Died: December 16, 1687

Initially a physician and anatomy professor, William Petty also taught music. However, he later established himself as a noted economist and became famous for his works such as Treatise of Taxes and Contributions. He was a surveyor under Oliver Cromwell and was a pioneer of political arithmetic.

 34 Henry Sidgwick

Henry Sidgwick
2
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: May 31, 1838
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Skipton, Yorkshire, England
Died: August 28, 1900

An influential English ethical philosopher and economist of the Victorian era, Henry Sidgwick is perhaps best known for his utilitarian treatise The Methods of Ethics. He promoted higher education of women and co-founded Newnham College. He remained a member of the Metaphysical Society and co-founded and served as first president of the Society for Psychical Research.

 35 Angus Maddison

Angus Maddison
2
Famous As: Economist, University teacher
Birthdate: December 6, 1926
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Newcastle upon Tyne
Died: April 24, 2010

British economist Angus Maddison specialised in quantitative macroeconomic history and is noted for documenting economic performances of major countries across continents. He served as the Head of OEEC Economics Division and as Assistant Director at the Economic Development Department of OECD. He authored several books on historical economic analysis, most notably The World Economy: Historical Statistics.

 36 Richard Henry Tawney

Richard Henry Tawney
2
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: November 30, 1880
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kolkata, India
Died: January 16, 1962

English economic historian, Christian socialist, ethical socialist and social critic Richard Henry Tawney was also an advocate of adult education. He penned several books, including The Acquisitive Society (1920), Religion and the Rise of Capitalism (1926) and Equality (1931) that made him an influential historian, social critic and reformer of his time.   

 37 Kenneth E. Boulding

Kenneth E. Boulding
2
Famous As: Economist, University teacher, Philosopher, Author, Poet
Birthdate: January 18, 1910
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Liverpool
Died: March 18, 1993

English-born American economist, peace-activist, educator, and interdisciplinary philosopher Kenneth E. Boulding co-founded the Society for General Systems Research (later named International Society for Systems Science). He penned over 36 books and 112 articles, including The Image: Knowledge in Life and Society and Conflict and Defense: A General Theory. He devised the military concept Loss of Strength Gradient in the latter.

 38 Arnold Toynbee

Arnold Toynbee
2
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: August 23, 1852
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London
Died: March 9, 1883

The son of a surgeon, economist Arnold Toynbee studied at Balliol College and later taught there, too. He was a prominent social reformer who spoke for the working class and supported trade unions. Unfortunately, he died of exhaustion and breakdown after being overworked. Toynbee Hall was named after him.

 39 Howard Davies

Howard Davies
2
Famous As: economist
Birthdate: February 12, 1951
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: England, United Kingdom

British economist and author Howard Davies, who presently serve as chairman of NatWest Group and Professor at Paris School of International Affairs, served as the first chairman of Financial Services Authority. He also served as director of the London School of Economics and chairman of Phoenix Group and UK Airports Commission. He became chairman of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group in 2015.

 40 James Mirrlees

James Mirrlees.
2
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: July 5, 1936
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Minnigaff, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland

Scottish economist and Nobel laureate James Mirrlees is best remembered for his research on economic incentives in situations with incomplete information. Educated at Cambridge, he later taught at his alma and other prestigious institutes such as MIT and Oxford. He was knighted for his achievements, too.

 41 James Wilson

James Wilson
2
Famous As: Businessman
Birthdate: June 3, 1805
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hawick, Roxburghshire, Scotland
Died: August 11, 1860

Born to a hat manufacturer, James Wilson initially wished to study law but later joined his father’s business. Over the years, he established what is now the Standard Chartered Bank. Sent to Kolkata by Queen Victoria to introduce tax reforms, he introduced paper currency in the country, but died of dysentery.

 42 Sidney Webb, 1st Baron Passfield

Sidney Webb, 1st Baron Passfield
2
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: July 13, 1859
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London, England
Died: October 13, 1947

Born to a lower-middle-class family, economist Sidney Webb, 1st Baron Passfield had quit school before 16 but later attended evening classes to clear both the civil service and bar exams. He and his wife, Beatrice Webb, were both part of the Fabian Society and co-founded the London School of Economics.

 43 Sir Clive William John Granger

Sir Clive William John Granger.
1
Famous As: Academic
Birthdate: September 4, 1934
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom
Died: May 27, 2009

Known for his contributions to analysis of the nonlinear time series, Sir Clive William John Granger was a British econometrician, who worked with Robert Engle to develop new statistical methods. Basing their work on cointegration, they were able to differentiate between and combine the analysis of short-term fluctuations and long-term trends, earning Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for it.

 44 Edward Gibbon Wakefield

Edward Gibbon Wakefield
2
Famous As: British colonial administrator
Birthdate: March 20, 1796
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London, England
Died: May 16, 1862

A major force behind setting up the colonies of South Australia and New Zealand Edward, English economist Gibbon Wakefield lent his name to the colonizing plan called the Wakefield scheme. He formulated the Canadian colonial policy Durham Report. Interestingly, he had been convicted of abducting and marrying a 15-year-old girl.

 45 John Neville Keynes

John Neville Keynes
1
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: August 31, 1852
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Salisbury, United Kingdom
Died: November 15, 1949

Educated at Cambridge, legendary British economist and philosopher John Neville Keynes later taught moral science there and became its registrar. He revolutionized the field of economics by merging both the inductive and deductive approaches to the subject. His son, John Maynard Keynes, too, was a prominent economist.

 46 Margaret Hassan

Margaret Hassan
2
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: April 18, 1945
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dalkey
Died: November 8, 2004

Irish-born aid worker Margaret Hassan, who was also referred to as Madam Margaret, remained in Baghdad during the 1991 Gulf War, and joined the international humanitarian agency called CARE International that year. She worked in Iraq for several years and became head of Iraqi operations for CARE in 2004. The same year, she was kidnapped and murdered by unidentified kidnappers.

 47 Thomas Mun

Thomas Mun
1
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: June 17, 1571
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London, United Kingdom
Died: July 21, 1641

Seventeenth-century merchant Thomas Mun had been the director of the East India Company. He was the first to explain the economic theory of the balance of trade. A pioneer of mercantilism, he believed a nation’s wealth lay in its stock of gold, though such thoughts were proved flawed by later economists.

 48 Noreena Hertz

Noreena Hertz
2
Famous As: Economist, Journalist
Birthdate: September 24, 1967
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London

English academic, economist, author and broadcaster Noreena Hertz serves as Economics Editor of ITV News, chief Europe correspondent of Sirius XM and Honorary Professor at the UCL Institute for Global Prosperity. She hosts the MegaHertz: London Calling show on Sirius XM Insight channel. She launched the Mayday for Nurses campaign and penned books like The Silent Takeover and Generation K.

 49 Thomas Chalmers

Thomas Chalmers
2
Famous As: Mathematician, Theologian, Writer, University teacher, Economist
Birthdate: March 17, 1780
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Anstruther
Died: May 30, 1847

Scottish Presbyterian minister and political economist Thomas Chalmers has been immortalized by the town of Port Chalmers in New Zealand, named after him. An ordained minister, he was initially a math lecturer. He later became the Free Church of Scotland’s first moderator. He tried applying Christian ethics to economic problems.

 50 James Meade

James Meade.
1
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: June 23, 1907
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Swanage, United Kingdom
Died: December 22, 1995

Nobel Prize-winning British economist James Meade served as a war economist during World War II and was also part of the Labour government. He also taught at Cambridge and the London School of Economics. His research was focused on merging the Keynesian and neoclassical elements of economics.