MacDougall, (George) Donald (Alastair)

MacDougall (born 1912, knighted 1953; died 2004) was educated at Shrewsbury School and Balliol College, Oxford; he won the George Webb Medley junior (1934) and senior (1935) scholarships in political economy. He was assistant lecturer and later lecturer in economics at the University of Leeds (1936-39). On Harrod's recommendation (a move which Harrod considered "a stroke of genius" and his "best contribution to the defeat of Hitler": The Prof., p. 181) MacDougall was hired by Lindemann for Churchill 's Statistical Branch (1939-45). Later he was fellow of Wadham College, Oxford (1945-50; bursar in 1946-48), economic director at the Organization for European Economic Cooperation, Paris (1948-49), fellow (1947-50 and 1952-64) and professorial fellow (1950-52) of Nuffield College, chief adviser of the Prime Minister's Statistical Branch (1951-53), director general of the Department of Economic Affairs (1964-68), head of the Government Economic Service and chief economic adviser to the Treasury (1969-73). Harrod, who supervised his work for the DPhil, wrote of him: "He is a first rate theorist, he has an excellent grasp in the field of applied statistics with an uncanny gift for spotting the relevant in unpromising material. [...] He seemed to have a most powerful logical mind, penetrating and elegant and original in its processes, and I had the rare feeling of being confronted with someone who gave new vistas on what pure intellect can achieve."

See list of letters .

Obituary by Michael Posner, The Guardian, 25 March 2004

Source: wsw 1999; R. F. Harrod, letter of recommendation for a Cambridge lectureship, 6 November 1944 (in Sraffa Papers B9/7 35); another generous appreciation by Harrod is in an undated letter to Lindemann , written before the end of the war (in CHER K142/27). G. D. A. MacDougall, Don and Mandarin. Memoirs of an Economist (1987).


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