skip to content

Faculty of Economics

The famous Cambridge economist and author of Some Cambridge Controversies in the Theory of Capital, published in 1972, Professor Geoff Harcourt, is celebrating his 90th Birthday.


Professor Geoff Harcourt

Professor Geoff Harcourt has had a prolific and distinguished academic career spanning almost 60 years, including many years at Cambridge University. One of his first lectureships at Cambridge came via the celebrated economist Joan Robinson.

After studying for PhD at the University of Cambridge, he was a University Lecturer at Cambridge and a Fellow of Trinity Hall 1964–66.

Emeritus Reader in the History of Economic Theory, Cambridge, and Emeritus Fellow, Jesus College, Cambridge, he is now an Honorary Professor at UNSW.

He has made major contributions to the understanding of the ideas of Keynes, Joan Robinson and other Cambridge economists. He has also made important contributions in his own right to post-Keynesian and post-Kaleckian theory. He is also a member of the editorial board of Cambridge Journal of Economics.

One of Australia's most eminent economists, Professor Harcourt, became a pin-up boy for students of economic theory in the1970s when he laid bare an argument that raged between British and US economists of two differing theoretical and mathematical positions in economics that started in the 1950s and lasted well into the 1960son the nature and role of capital goods and a critique of the neoclassical vision of aggregate production and distribution.

Some Cambridge Controversies in the Theory of Capital Cover

The debate was largely between economists at the Faculty of Economics at the University of Cambridge and other economists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge, Massachusett.

His seminal article, later published as a book, Some Cambridge Controversies in the Theory of Capital, laid out the two arguments and made them easier to understand. It also caused international controversy.

Professor Harcourt has continued to rock conservative thinkers and espouse challenging new economic concepts since. Recognised globally for his contributions to post-Keynesian economics, he remains keen to debate, and says he would still prefer a first-class attack on his theories "than a third-rate agreement".

He authored or edited 29 books and published over 380 articles, chapters in books and reviews. A Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in the UK, he was made an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia for services to Economic Theory and to the History of Economic Thought.

The 50th anniversary edition of his Some Cambridge Controversies in the Theory of Capital will be published shortly to mark his 90th birthday with the Cambridge University Press.

On the occasion of his 80th Birthday, he was interviewed by the University of Cambridge Communications Manager Julian Lorkin, when he discussed his famous book:




Theory of Capital