Bank of England dinner honours ‘one of the greatest economists of the century'
Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, has given a dinner in honour of James Meade (1907-1995), one of the foremost Cambridge economists.
James Meade greatly influenced the way in which economic policy is now discussed in Britain and 2007 marks the 100th anniversary of his birth. An architect of Britain’s first national set of accounts and of GATT, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, he was awarded (with Bertil Ohlin) the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1977. A gentle, modest and much-loved man with a driving intellect, his time at Cambridge led in his words, to the ‘most intellectually stimulating year of my life’.
The James Meade Fellowship and Lectureship
Cambridge alumni including some of the world’s leading economists, James Meade’s contemporaries and members of his family were among the 50 attendees at the dinner on 30th October and conversation buzzed with stories and memories. The dinner also saw the introduction of the James Meade Lectureship at the Faculty of Economics in conjunction with a James Meade Fellowship at Christ’s College, both of which will continue Meade’s impressive legacy in pushing the boundaries of research and teaching. Endowment of the Lectureship in perpetuity requires £1.8m while £500k will provide support for the Fellowship.
James Meade was closely associated with Christ’s College, inspiring the young associates with whom he worked and respected throughout the profession after his retirement. These two posts will build on his considerable achievements. Mervyn King described James Meade as ‘a man who could not read a book without putting it down after a chapter, picking up his pen, and writing a better book'. Sir James Mirrlees, Emeritus Professor of Political Economy at Cambridge and who is leading a review one of James Meade’s most important papers said “James Meade was truly memorable. Above all he exemplified, at the highest quality, the kind of economics I value most: the economics of human welfare, and public policy. He was a great reforming thinker – how splendid then if the Faculty can have a Meade lecturer and Christ’s College offer a Meade Fellowship”
Added: 16 January 2008