Michael Allingham (economist)

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Michael Allingham is a British economist whose main work has been on equilibrium theory, choice theory, and distributive justice.

Life[edit]

Michael Allingham was educated at Lancing College and then at the University of Edinburgh, where he "read natural philosophy and then political economy".[1] From 1967 until 1977 he taught at various universities in the UK and the US; from 1977 to 1993 he held the Chair in Economic Theory at the University of Kent; and from 1993 to 2009 he was Frank Richardson Fellow at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he is now an Emeritus Fellow.

He has ridden under Jockey Club rules,[2] and was a part-owner of the winner of the 2002 Dewhurst Stakes, "the single most significant two-year-old race in Europe".[3] He has been a Local Steward, and Racecourse Chairman, with the Jockey Club.

Work[edit]

Before moving to Oxford Allingham's main work was on general equilibrium theory; while he was teaching at Magdalen it was on rational choice theory; and subsequently it has been on distributive justice.

General equilibrium theory is widely accepted as "the most prestigious economics of all".[4] In substance, it concerns the workings of the entire economy; in style, it is axiomatic and rigorous. Léon Walras, the founder of general equilibrium theory, claimed in 1854 that "pure economics is, in essence, the theory of the determination of prices under a hypothetical regime of perfectly free competition".[5] Allingham's work is rooted in the Walrasian tradition: in his entry in Who's Who in Economics he refers to Walras's definition, and says that his own work may be seen as an extension of this.[6]

Rational choice theory transcends the boundaries of economics, and exemplifies Allingham's interests as being "in the core theoretical problems which lie at the intersection of philosophy and economics".[7] It explores what is meant by rationality, and how this may be characterized. His work in this area is also axiomatic: in the words of a reviewer in The Economic Journal, "its treatment is abstract and axiomatic … few concessions are being made to the uninitiated".[8]

Distributive justice again transcends the boundaries of economics. It considers what is meant by a just distribution of goods among members of society. Allingham develops the view that all theories of justice, or at least all liberal theories, may be seen as expressions of laissez-faire with compensations for factors that they consider to be morally arbitrary. His latest book has been described by a reviewer as "a probing analytical comparison, by an economic theorist, of the major accounts dominating that literature … meticulously isolating their respective strengths and weaknesses: a tour de force."[9]

Publications[edit]

Books
  • Distributive Justice, Routledge, 2014[10]
  • Rational Choice Theory (editor, five volumes), Routledge, 2006[11]
  • Choice Theory: A Very Short Introduction (part of the Very Short Introductions series), Oxford University Press, 2002 (translated into Arabic, Chinese, Italian, Russian, and Spanish)[12]
  • Rational Choice, Macmillan, 1999[13]
  • Arbitrage, Macmillan, 1991 (translated into Italian)[14]
  • Theory of Markets, Macmillan, 1989[15]
  • Unconscious Contracts, Routledge, 1987 (re-published in 2016 as Volume 1 in Routledge Library Editions: Psychoanalysis)[16]
  • Value, Macmillan, 1983[17]
  • General Equilibrium, Macmillan, 1975
  • Equilibrium and Disequilibrium, Ballinger, 1973
Six selected articles

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rational Choice (jacket)
  2. ^ Choice Theory, (jacket)
  3. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk
  4. ^ March and Blaug, Appraising Economic Theories, Elgar, 1991 (508-509)
  5. ^ Walras, ‘’Elements of Pure Economics’’ (trans Jaffe), Irwin, 1954 (40)
  6. ^ Blaug and Sturges, Who's Who in Economics, Wheatsheaf, 1983
  7. ^ Rational Choice (jacket)
  8. ^ Bonner, 'Review of Rational Choice', The Economic Journal, 2001 (F540)
  9. ^ http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415859103
  10. ^ http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415859103
  11. ^ http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415357517/
  12. ^ http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780192803030.do
  13. ^ http://www.palgrave.com/gb/book/9781349149384
  14. ^ http://www.palgrave.com/gb/book/9780333557815
  15. ^ http://www.palgrave.com/gb/book/9781349102679
  16. ^ https://www.routledge.com/Unconscious-Contracts-A-Psychoanalytical-Theory-of-Society/Allingham/p/book/9781138934467
  17. ^ http://www.palgrave.com/gb/book/9780333342510

External links[edit]