Born in Ryde, Isle of Wight, Arthur Cecil Pigou studied history at Cambridge University, UK, where he developed an interest in economics and met Alfred Marshall. After graduating, Pigou lectured at Cambridge until the outbreak of World War I, taking over Marshall’s professorship in political economy in 1908. As a teacher and builder of the School of Economics at the University of Cambridge, he trained and influenced many Cambridge economists who went on to take chairs of economics around the world. His work covered various fields of economics, particularly welfare economics, but also included Business cycle theory, unemployment, public finance, index numbers, and measurement of national output. He is best known for the “Pigouvian taxes” he devised to offset externalities (costs or benefits that “spill over” onto third parties).
Key works: 1912. Wealth and Welfare, 1920 The Economics of Welfare, 1933. The Theory of Unemployment