72. M. Dobb to Harrod , 25 April 1924 [a]

Twelve Relton Mews, Cheval Place, S.W. 7 #

25 April 1924

Dear Harrod.

It was nice of you to write about the entrepreneur myth. [1] I am glad you liked the point about the maladjustment of resources. [2] I was rather afraid there was nothing very new about it. I think Pigou has approached the same thing from a different angle by saying that maximum welfare is not obtained under inequality. [3] Adjustment by equality of marginal n[et]. p[roduct]'s is only approximate \ equalise as much as possible. But I rather feel that the other way has certain advantages in giving a different emphasis.

I had in mind Cole & Tawney in particular, & to a smaller extent Laski, all of whom at any rate originated in Oxford. [4] It arose from a remark of Walton Hamilton in the New Republic to the effect that these people had turned their backs on the barren economics of Cambridge, & were producing something tangible & useful. [5] Cole explicitly, & the others I think implicitly, tend to deny that the method of orthodox economics is much to be desired. But I may be wrong about Laski.

Yours very sincerely

Maurice Dobb.

  1. 1. M. H. Dobb, "The Entrepreneur Myth", Economica 3-4:10, February 1924, pp. 66-81.

    2. Dobb, "The Entrepreneur Myth", pp. 79-80.

    3. Presumably refers to A. C. Pigou, The Economics of Welfare (1920), part II, chapter II on "The National Dividend and Equality of Marginal Social Net Product".

    4. In his article, Dobb compared the individualists' and the Fabians' interpretations of the industrial revolution and their respective economic theories, the former being represented in the social philosophy of the Cambridge School of Economics, whose method attributes the difference between pure theory and applied economics to "economic friction" and maladjustments.

    5. W. H. Hamilton, "Vestigial Economics" (review of Supply and Demand, by H. D. Henderson), The New Republic XXXIV:435, 4 April 1923, pp. 168-69.

    1. a. ALS, two pages on one sheet, in HPBL Add. 72763/78. Photocopy in HP (NC).

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