MEADE, James Edward, 1907-1995, economist

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Papers of Professor James Edward Meade, 1927-[1995], comprising the following: Personal diaries, 1943-1952, covering Meade's visits to the USA and his wartime work within the Economic Section of the Cabinet Office. Correspondence and papers, 1927-1995, including correspondence between Meade and other economists, notably (Edward) Hugh (John Neale) Dalton, (William) Maurice Allen, Edwin Cannan, Evan Frank Mottram Durbin, Lady Juliet Evangeline Rhys-Williams, John Maynard Keynes, Dennis Holme Robertson, Richard Ferdinand Kahn, Sir John and Lady Ursula Hicks, Roy (Forbes) Harrod, Lionel Charles Robbins, Alban William Housego (Bill) Phillips, Philip John Noel-Baker, Sir Ralph George Hawtree, Oliver Shewell Franks, and Harold Joseph Laski; papers by Meade and others on economic topics, with comments by him and other economists; papers and correspondence relating to institutions, including the Joint Sub-Committee of Accountants and Economists, Political and Economic Planning, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research , the International Monetary Fund, the International Institute for Labour Studies, the Royal Economic Society, the Overseas Development Institute, the Child Action Poverty Group and the Institute for Public Policy Research. Papers relating to Meade's Chairmanship of the Economic Survey Mission to Mauritius, 1950-1961, including drafts, the final report, and research papers, especially statistics concerning the Mauritian society and economy and papers created by the Mauritian Legislative Council. Papers, correspondence and news cuttings, 1975-1981, concerning Meade's Chairmanship of an Institute of Fiscal Studies Committee looking at the reform and structure of direct taxation in the UK, including research papers, the final report and correspondence with individuals. Working papers, notes and drafts relating to the Stagflation Project, 1976-1987, notably comments on drafts by other economists, applications for project funding, correspondence with publishers, reviews and press cuttings, texts of lectures, corrected drafts of chapters for Wage fixing (Allen and Unwin, London, 1982) and Demand Management (Allen and Unwin, London, 1983), as well as correspondence with his co-authors. Material relating to Agathotopia: the Economics of Partnership (Aberdeen University Press, 1989), 1988-1991, including working notes, printed drafts, related articles, press cuttings, texts of lectures on Agathotopia, letters relating to publication, correspondence, photographs and papers created at the League of Italian Cooperatives seminar in Rome (1988). Papers and notes by Meade on various economic topics, 1947-1995, including political economics, international economic policy and institutions, economic welfare, international trade, neo-classical economic theories, government finance, the European Common Market and Monetary Union, taxation and international monetary reform. This section also includes notes and drafts for published books, papers and articles. Papers by other economists, 1947-1994, mainly with comments by Meade, notably Stanley Dennison, and Don Patinkin. Material concerning conferences and academic panels, 1947-1995, notably the Royal Society Population Group, the Cambridge Economic Policy Review, the Atlantic Economic Society, the Bank of England Panel of Academic Historians, the Public Policy Centre, the Basic Income Research Group and the Borrie Commission on Social Justice. Texts of lectures by Meade, 1947-1994, mainly on economic subjects, given mostly at the London School of Economics. Published books by Meade, 1933-1995, many signed and annotated by him, and including copies of works translated into foreign languages. Material relating to the Social Democratic Party, the Liberal/SDP Alliance and the Liberal Democratic Party, 1981-1982 and 1991-1992, notably correspondence concerning Meade's letter to The Times regarding proportional representation, January 1981; papers of the SDP Policy Group on Poverty, Taxation and Social Security, 1981, and of the SDP Economic Policy Group, 1981-1982, including policy discussion papers prepared by Meade; papers and press cuttings regarding the environmental policy of the Liberal Democrats, 1991-1992. Papers relating to Alban William Housego (Bill) Phillips and the Phillips Machine, 1949-1995, including photographs of the original seminar at LSE in 1949, as well as the reopening of the Phillips Machine in 1989; correspondence with Bill Phillips and other economist regarding the machine and funding of the project; notes, diagrams and working papers relating to the building of the Phillips machine; biographical material for Bill Phillips; and general press cuttings, correspondence and papers concerning the reuse of the machine in the 1990s. Miscellaneous papers, 1921-1995, including correspondence with publishers, 1933-1995; Meade's notebooks containing writings on economics and reading lists, 1944-1975; Government economic reports, 1955-1956; reviews of Meade's publications, 1958-1970; correspondence and papers relating to the Eugenics Society, 1963-1969; papers relating to the Nuffield Foundation, 1968-1975; and student references, 1980-1994.

Administrative / Biographical History

James Edward Meade (1907-1995) was educated at Malvern College and Oriel College, Oxford, graduating in 1930. 1930. He was immediately appointed to a teaching post at Hertford College Oxford. He spent a postgraduate year at Trinity College, Cambridge (1930-1931) where he became deeply involved with the Cambridge 'circus' around John Maynard Keynes and his first work, 'An Introduction to Economic Analysis and Policy', appeared just two years after Keynes' 'General Theory'. In 1938 Meade left teaching for the League of Nations in Geneva where he edited the World Economic Survey. He returned to Britain in 1940 to serve in the Economic Section of the Cabinet Office under Lionel Robbins. In 1945, he succeeded Robbins as Director of the secretariat and during this time worked with Richard Stone on the first Keynesian-style national income accounts for Britain, later published as 'National Income and Expenditure'. In 1947, he accepted the post of Professor of Commerce at the London School of Economics and during this time expanded his lectures into his major work, 'The Theory of Economic Policy', published in two volumes-'Balance of Payments' in 1951 and 'Trade and Welfare' in 1955. Meade became Professor of Political Economy at the University of Cambridge in 1957, a post in which he stayed for the next ten years. He found himself involved in the controversies between American and British economists, which led to his work 'A Neo-Classical Theory of Economic Growth'. Healso pursued his concerns over income distribution with his 'Efficiency, Equality and the Ownership of Property'. Meade and Bertil Ohlin were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1977 for 'pathbreaking contributions to the theory of trade and international capital movements.' #10,000 of the prize money was donated to the appeal for the Lionel Robbins Building at the London School of Economics, which was to house the British Library of Political and Economic Science. In 1978, he chaired the influential British committee of inquiry into the 'Structure and Reform of Direct Taxation' whose recommendations bore Meade's characteristic approach and continued concern over unemployment. During the 1980s, Meade continued to produce a large amount of scientific work and worked in an advisory role with the newly formed Social Democratic Party regarding their economic policy. His work during this period, revolved around two of his concerns and interests: unemployment, which he considered comparable to the 1930s, and profit-sharing schemes, producer co-operatives and labour-managed firms, exemplified in his work 'Different Forms of Share Economy'. In 1995, Meade completed his last major work, 'Agathiotopia: Full Employment Regained?', which was published shortly before his death.. Meade was also President of Section F of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1957, Honorary Member of the American Economic Association, Treasurere of the British Eugencis Society from 1963-1966 and President of the Royal Economic Society from 1964 to 1966.In 1971 he became an honorary foreign member of the United States National Academy of Sciences.


The collection is arranged in the following sections: 1: Diaries, 1943-1952; 2: Correspondence and papers, 1927-1939; 3: Correspondence and papers, 1940-1949; 4: Correspondence and papers, 1950-1995; 5: The economic and social structure of Mauritius; 6: The structure and reform of direct taxation; 7: Stagflation project; 8: Agathiotopia: the economics of partnership; 9: Papers and notes on economics; 10: Papers by other economists; 11: Conferences and academic panels, 1947-1995; 12: Lectures, 1947-1994; 13: Books, 1933-1995; 14: Foreign language books, 1937-1994; 15: Material relating to the SDP and the Liberal Democrats; 16: Bill Phillips and the Phillips machine; 17: Miscellaneous; 18: Offprints, reviews and letters to the press; 19: Additional papers deposited by the family in 2004

Conditions Governing Access

Open, though some confidential files remain closed. Apply to Archivist for details

Acquisition Information

The papers were given by James Edward Meade in 1975, 1978 and 1982. Further material was given by the family in 1996, 1999, 2004, 2006 and 2007

Other Finding Aids

Online catalogue available

Archivist's Note

Sources: British Library of Political and Economic Science catalogue; Who's Who 1897-1996 (A & C Black, 1996); British Library On-Line Public Access Catalogue 97. Compiled by Sarah Aitchison as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright retained by the donor and their heirs.

Related Material

The British Library of Political and Economic Science holds further material relating to James Edward Meade in the papers of Professor Edwin Cannan (Ref: Cannan/1032), Edward Hugh John Neale Dalton (Ref: Dalton 2/1, 7/4, and 9/18), the Fabian Society (Ref: Fabian Society J24/3), the Royal Economic Society (Ref: RES 2/1/5, 6 and 10; 4/4/5; 6/1/293; 6/2/29, 111, 153, 157, 220, 234, and 367; 6/3/52, 65, 148, 178; 6/4/40, 80 and 221; 9/8/8, and 10; 10/22/3; 13/1/3; 16/4, 17 and 18), Lady Juliet Evangeline Rhys-Williams (Ref: Rhys-Williams J 2/1/2, 9/1/3 and 21/8/1), Andrews and Brunner (Ref: Andrews/Brunner /2 and 4), the LSE (Ref: Unregistered School Files 25/7/1/18), Edward Mayow Hastings Lloyd (Ref: Lloyd 7/14), Duncan Lyell Burn (Ref: Burn 6/23), Alan Richmond Prest (Ref: Prest 19/1/4) and the Zangwill Aubrey Silberman papers in Coll Misc 1041.