Joan Robinson’s Brief Biography

Joan Robinson was born Joan Maurice in 1903 in Surrey, England. She studied economics at Girton College, Cambridge. In 1937, she became a lecturer in economics at the University of Cambridge. She joined the British Academy in 1958 and was then elected fellow of Newnham College in 1962. In 1965 she assumed the position of full professor and fellow of Girton College. In 1979, just four years before she died, she became the first female fellow of King’s College.


Robinson was a British post-Keynesian economist who was well known for her work on monetary economics and wide-ranging contributions to economic theory. Not like many other economists sticking to one area of study throughout their career,Joan Robinson instead studied and wrote on a great number of topics. At the beginning of her career Joan Robinson focused upon building on neoclassical theory. Then she move on to a new topic and switched her focus to Keynes’ General Theory. After that, she then turned to Karl Marx and she was one joan4_robinsonof the earliest writers take Marx seriously as an economist. After the second world war, she showed her interest in underdeveloped and developing countries and she paid her visit to both the Soviet Union and China.

Joan Robinson never won a Nobel Prize in Economics. Many people believe that is because of her gender, since given her role in the development of economics, as well as the quality and the quantity of her published work, she should have been awarded the Economics ‘Nobel’ award.  However, despite the fact that she didn’t win this important prize, Joan Robinson’s works are still being studied while many Nobel Prize winners’ works have faded away. 

 As one of the foremost economists of her generation and the most accomplished, productive, and eminent female economist, she stood as the leading heterodox or dissenting economist of her time. After doing all the searching and reading about Joan Robinson, I am familiar with her now and think her work is connected to what we learnt in this class. Her work of Marx and Keynesian is a good example since one of  their most important studies is how the largest organization of economics ( the government ) should be organized. 



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