W. H. Locke Anderson

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William Henry Locke Anderson (1933–22 September 2002) was an American economist and professor at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. During the first half of his career, W. H. Locke Anderson did research on macroeconomics. During the second half, Professor Anderson focused on Marxist economics and became an editor of Monthly Review, a Marxist journal.


He earned in 1955 a B.A. from Williams College in 1955 and in 1960 a PhD degree from Harvard University, immediately after which he joined the economics department of the University of Michigan. He became full professor in 1968.[1][2] In macroeconomics, his research monographs studied corporate finance, investment, and national income theory.[1] He served as a staff economist for the Council of Economic Advisers of the United States President during the administration of Lyndon B. Johnson.[2]

Becoming critical of mainstream economics during the 1960s, he devoted his energies to Marxian political-economy, believing "that only Marxism provides the intellectual equipment needed to understand the reality of a modern capitalist society". He helped to organize the Union for Radical Political Economy (URPE),[2] which publishes the journal Review of Radical Political Economics. He developed new economics courses in Marxist theory and the economics of women.[1] He became an associate editor of Monthly Review, a Marxist economics-journal, after publishing an essay "Apologizing for capitalism" in 1987. In this essay, Anderson wrote

"As objects of curiosity, although not of course as conversationalists, economists are among the most interesting intellectuals of bourgeois society. They present themselves as scientists and have many of the affectations of science, though they do not have the nerve to wear their cute little white coats in public. But for more than two centuries they have been dedicated producers of the legitimizing ideology of capitalism, its nerve gas for the home front."[3]

At the University of Michigan, he supervised the doctoral dissertations of Dean Baker and Mark Weisbrot.[4][5]

He took early retirement from the University of Michigan in 1988 and moved to New York City. He was a parishioner of the Abyssinian Baptist Church. He died on September 22, 2002.[2]


  1. ^ a b c "W.H. Locke Anderson". Faculty History Project. University of Michigan. 2011. Retrieved December 23, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d The Editors (November 2002). "Notes from the editors". Monthly Review 54 (6). 
  3. ^ Anderson, W. H. Locke (March 1, 1987). "Apologizing for capitalism". Monthly Review. (subscription required). Retrieved December 23, 2012. 
  4. ^ Page 2450: "Doctoral Dissertations in Economics Ninetieth Annual List". Journal of Economic Literature (American Economic Association) 31 (4): 2425–2455. December 1993. JSTOR 2728416. 
  5. ^ Weisbrot, Mark Alan (1993). Ideology And Method in the History of Development Economics. Ann Arbor: Economics Department, College of Literature, Science and the Arts, University of Michigan.