Thomas Nixon Carver

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Thomas Nixon Carver
Portrait of Thomas Nixon Carver.jpg
Thomas Nixon Carver, by J.E. Purdy
Born (1865-03-25)March 25, 1865
Died March 8, 1961(1961-03-08) (aged 95)
Nationality American
Institution Oberlin College
Harvard University
School or
Neoclassical economics

Thomas Nixon Carver (25 March 1865, Kirkville, Iowa – 8 March 1961, Santa Monica, California) was an American economics professor.

Early life[edit]

He grew up on a farm, the son of Quaker parents.[1] He received an undergraduate education at Iowa Wesleyan College and the University of Southern California. After studying under John Bates Clark and Richard T. Ely at Johns Hopkins University, he received a Ph.D. degree at Cornell University in 1894.


He held a joint appointment in economics and sociology at Oberlin College until 1902 }, when he accepted a position as professor of political economy at Harvard University (1902–1935). For a time, there he taught the only course in sociology. He was the secretary-treasurer of the American Economic Association (1909–1913) and was elected its President in 1916.[2]

Carver's principal achievement in economic theory was to extend Clark's theory of marginalism to determination of interest from saving ('abstinence') and productivity of capital.[3] He made pioneering contributions to agricultural and rural economics and in rural sociology.[2][4] He wrote on such diverse topics as monetary economics,[5] macroeconomics,[6] the distribution of wealth,[7] the problem of evil,[8] uses of religion,[9] political science,[10] political economy,[11] social justice,[12] behavioral economics,[13] social evolution,[14] and the economics of national survival.[15]


  • (1893). The Place of Abstinence in the Theory of Interest.
  • (1894). The Theory of Wages Adjusted to Recent Theories of Value.
  • (1904). The Distribution of Wealth.
  • (1905). Sociology and Social Progress.
  • (1910). Rural Economy as a Factor in the Success of the Church.
  • (1911). Principles of Rural Economics.
  • (1911). The Religion Worth Having.
  • (1915). Essays in Social Justice.
  • (1916). Selected Readings in Rural Economics.
  • (1916). Selected Writings in Rural Economics.
  • (1917). The Foundations of National Prosperity.
  • (1918). Agricultural Economics.
  • (1919). Government Control of the Liquor Business in Great Britain and the United States.
  • (1919). Principles of Political Economy.
  • (1919). War Thrift.
  • (1920). Elementary Economics [with Maude Carmichael].
  • (1921). Principles of National Economy.
  • (1923). Human Relations: An Introduction to Sociology [with Henry Bass Hall].
  • (1924). The Economy of Human Energy.
  • (1925). The Present Economic Revolution in the United States.
  • (1927). Principles of Rural Sociology [with Gustav A. Lundquist].
  • (1928). Economic World and How It May Be Improved [with Hugh W. Lester].
  • (1932). Our Economic Life.
  • (1935). The Essential Factors of Social Evolution.
  • (1949). Recollections of an Unplanned Life.


  1. ^ Thomas Nixon Carver, 1949. Recollections of an Unplanned Life. Excerpt at the Wayback Machine (archived October 27, 2009).
  2. ^ a b A.W. Coats, 1987. "Carver, Thomas Nixon," The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics, v. 1, pp. 374–75.
  3. ^ T.N. Carver, 1893. "The Place of Abstinence in the Theory of Interest," Quarterly Journal of Economics, 8(1), pp. 40–61.
       _____, 1903. "The Relation of Abstinence to Interest," Quarterly Journal of Economics, 18(1), p p. 142–145.
  4. ^ Thomas Nixon Carver, 1911. Principles of Rural Economics. Chapter links, pp. vii–x.
  5. ^ T. N. Carver, 1897. "The Value of the Money Unit," Quarterly Journal of Economics, 11(4), pp. 429–435.
  6. ^ • 1903. "A Suggestion for a Theory of Industrial Depressions," Quarterly Journal of Economics, 17(3), pp. 497–500. Reprinted in Carver, 1919, Principles of Political Economy, pp. 335–37.
       1921. Principles of National Economy, Chapter links, v–vi.
  7. ^ Thomas Nixon Carver, 1904. The Distribution of Wealth. Chapter links.
  8. ^ 1908. "The Economic Basis of the Problem of Evil," Harvard Theological Review, 1(1), pp. 97111.
  9. ^ 1912. The Religion Worth Having. Chapter links.
  10. ^ 1914. "Political Science, I. General Introduction" in William Allan Neilson, ed., Lectures on the Harvard Classics, v. 51 of 51, pp. 328–346.
  11. ^ • 1919. Principles of Political Economy. Chapter links, pp. viiix.
       1960. "A Conservative's Ideas on Economic Reform," Quarterly Journal of Economics, 74(4), pp. 536–542.
  12. ^ 1915. Essays in Social Justice. Chapter links.
  13. ^ T.N. Carver, 1918. "The Behavioristic Man," Quarterly Journal of Economics, 33(1), pp. 195–201.
  14. ^ Thomas Nixon Carver, 1935. The Essential Factors of Social Evolution. Chapter links, pp. ix–xi.
  15. ^ 1917. "The National Point of View in Economics," American Economic Review, 7(1, Supplement), pp. 3–17. Presidential address, American Economic Association.

External links[edit]