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Faculty of Economics


Alfred MarshallThe Alfred Marshall Lectureship was established at the Faculty of Economics in 1932 in memory of Alfred Marshall, arguably the founder of modern economic science and undisputedly one of its pioneers. Under University statutes, it is concerned with ‘a subject in Economics, or in Economic History, or in some kindred subject’.  The establishment of these lectures institutionalised an earlier practice of inviting a distinguished economist, generally from outside Cambridge, to give a number of lectures during Full Term. The Marshall Lectures have twin aims – first, to present and to elucidate research developments in Economics to a wide audience; while at the same time to educate and to inspire students to study Economics in all its facets.

These Lectures are one of the premier academic events held at the Faculty of Economics. They are attended by students, faculty, and are also open to scholars across the University and to the general public. The Lectures are given in Full Term. It is expected that the Lecturer will give two lectures and will also deposit a copy of the text of the lectures in the Marshall Library.

The Marshall Lectures celebrate research in Economics and cognate disciplines, and those who have brought the spirit of enquiry to their field and in so doing have also distinguished themselves. Equally, it is expected that these Lectures will contribute to the academic training that is provided to Cambridge students. For this reason, the lectures are required to be accessible and intelligible both to scholars in the subject and to young students in the field. The Lecturer can assume that the audience has some reasonable understanding of the subject of Economics, but not the technical background that would be taken for granted when presenting a research seminar.

Over the years, these lectures have been delivered by some of the pre-eminent economists and social scientists of their generation. It is hoped that this will continue for many years to come. Ultimately, the objective of these Lectures is to attain Alfred Marshall’s own vision for economics education in Cambridge, and as articulated in his words, ‘to increase the number of those, whom Cambridge sends out into the world with cool heads but warm hearts, to discover how far it is possible to open up to all the material means of a refined and noble life’.

The Marshall Lecturers, with the subjects that they have lectured upon, are listed on the past lectures page.