Ely Devons (1913-1967) was a British economist. Devons was born in Bangor, north Wales, the son of a rabbi. His brother was Samuel Devons, who was Langworthy professor of physics at the University of Manchester.
Devons graduated from the University of Manchester in 1934, and thereafter undertook research in economics. He worked for the Joint Committee of Cotton Trades Organizations in Manchester between 1935 and 1939. During the War, he was a statistician at the Cotton Control, Ministry of Supply (1939-1940), statistician at the Central Economic Information Service (1940-1941), and chief statistician, and later director of planning at the Ministry of Aircraft Production from 1941 to 1945. Post-war, Devons was appointed reader in economic statistics at the University of Manchester in 1945, and was promoted to the Robert Ottley chair in applied economics in 1948. At Manchester, he ran a well-regarded economics seminar with Professor Arthur Lewis, and he also collaborated with Professor Max Gluckman in interdisciplinary work on economics and anthropology. Devons' main areas of interest were the economics of planning in the public sector, the role of economists and economic forecasting in government, and economic statistics.
Devons moved to the London School of Economic as professor of commerce in 1959. He was the author of Planning in practice (1950), Introduction to British economic statistics (1956), and Essays in economics (1961). He was a member of the council of the Royal Economic Society, 1956-1964, and a member of the Local Government Commission from 1959 to 1965. Devons married Estelle Wine, a concert pianist, in 1939, and they had two sons and a daughter. He retired early in 1965 due to ill-health and died in late 1967.