Henry Higgs

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Henry Higgs (4 March 1864 – 21 May 1940) was a British civil servant, economist, and historian of economic thought.

Higgs joined the War Office as a Lower Division Clerk in 1882. From there he moved to the Postmaster General's Office in 1884 when he also began taking courses at University College London. He received an LLB degree at the latter in 1890. He went to Treasury in 1899 and was appointed Private Secretary of then-Prime Minister Henry Campbell Bannerman for three years before returning to Treasury in 1908.

Higgs was a founding member of the British Economic Association in 1890 and contributed to securing a Royal Charter for it in 1902, which was followed by a name change to the Royal Economic Society. He was Secretary for the organization from 1892 to 1905 and assistant editor of the Economic Journal from 1896 to 1905 during the tenure of F.Y. Edgeworth as editor.[1]

Among other subjects, Higgs wrote on the economist Richard Cantillon and edited what became the standard version of Cantillon's Essai sur la nature du commerce en général.[2] He also wrote on the Physiocrats,[3] the financial system of the United Kingdom,[4][5] and financial reform.[6] He also compiled a historical bibliography on economic thought.[7] Higgs was an early supporter of and contributor to Dictionary of Political Economy, Inglis Palgrave, ed., (1894, ..., 1908), to which he contributed 19 entries. He edited the only edition of the Dictionary not edited by Palgrave, adding Palgrave's name to the title and penning 40 more entries .[8][9]


  1. ^ Murray Milgate, 1987. "Higgs, Henry (1864–1940)," The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics, v. 2, pp. 263-64.
  2. ^ • Henry Higgs, 1891. "Richard Cantillon," Economic Journal, 1(2), pp. 262-291.
       • Richard Cantillon, [1755] 1931. Essai sur la nature du commerce en général, ed. and with an English translation by Henry Higgs for the Royal Economic Society. London: Macmillan & Co.
  3. ^ Henry Higgs, 1897. The Physiocrats: Six Lectures on the French Économistes of the 18th Century. Chapter links. London: Macmillan & Co.
  4. ^ Henry Higgs, 1914. The Financial System of the United Kingdom. London: Macmillan & Co.
  5. ^ Henry Higgs, 1919. A Primer of National Finance. London: Methuen & Co..
  6. ^ Henry Higgs, 1924 Financial Reform.[1] London: Macmillan & Co.
  7. ^ Henry Higgs, 1935. Bibliography of Economics, 1751-1775, British Academy.
  8. ^ Henry Higgs, ed., 1923–1926. Palgrave’s Dictionary of Political Economy, 3 vols. London: Macmillan & Co.
  9. ^ • Murray Milgate, 1987. "Higgs, Henry (1864–1940)," in The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics, v. 2, pp. 263-64.
       • Clara E. Collet and Charles K. Webster, 1940. "Obituary: Henry Higgs," Economic Journal, 50(200) pp. 546-572. Includes notes of J.M. Keynes, pp. 555-58.