Ralph George Hawtrey

Ralph George Hawtrey

Ralph George Hawtrey

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Sir Ralph George Hawtrey (22 November 1879 – 21 March 1975) was a British economist, and a close friend of John Maynard Keynes.

He studied at Eton, then Cambridge, where he graduated in 1901 with first-class mathematics honours. He spent the rest of his working life in the study of economics. between 1904 and 1945 he worked in the UK Treasury. After World War II he was Price Professor of International Economics in the Royal Institute for International Affairs. He also taught at Harvard as a visiting lecturer.

He took a monetary approach towards the economic ups and downs of industry and commerce, advocating changes in the money supply through adjustment in the bank rate of interest, foreshadowing the later work of Keynes. In the 1920s, he advocated what was later called the Treasury View. He also advanced in 1931 the concept that became known as the multiplier, a coefficient showing the effect of a change in total national investment on the amount of total national income.

It was his view that the Great Depression was largely the result of a breakdown of the international gold standard. He had played a key role in the Genoa Conference of 1922, which attempted to devise arrangements for a stable return to the gold standard.

Hawtrey was knighted in 1956.

Main publications

  • Good and Bad Trade, 1913.
  • Currency and Credit, 1919.
  • Monetary Reconstruction, 1922.
  • "The Trade Cycle", 1926.
  • Trade and Credit, 1928.
  • "The monetary theory......
  • ...

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