Henry Phelps Brown

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Henry Phelps Brown ( Ernest Henry Phelps Brown ; born February 10, 1906 in Calne ( North Wiltshire ), † December 15, 1994 in Oxford ) was an English labor economist and economic historian .

After studying modern history and the Oxford- specific course PPE (Philosophy, Politics, Economics) , he became a Fellow at New College in Oxford (1930-1947). He then taught as Professor of Labor Economics ( Economics of Labor ) at the London School of Economics (1947–1968). His scientific interest was in the economic and social factors that determine the size and distribution of income in space and time. For their investigation he used historical-statistical and comparative methods. He also looked at the historical development of British industrial relations and their institutions.

In 1960 he became a member ( fellow ) of the British Academy . In 1970 he was elected President of the Royal Economic Society . From the late 1950s he was a member of several government commissions under various governments, partly as its chairman ( Council on Prices, Productivity and Incomes - National Economic Development Council - Royal Commission on Income and Wealth ).

After his early retirement, he returned to Oxford, where he continued to devote himself to his academic work.


  • The Growth of British Industrial Relations. Macmillan, London 1959
  • The Economics of Labor. Yale University Press, New Haven 1962
  • Pay and Profits: The Theory of Distribution Reviewed in the Light of the Behavior of Some Western Economies over the Last Hundred Years. Manchester University Press, Manchester 1968, ISBN 0-7190-0353-9
  • (with Margaret H. Browne) A Century of Pay: The course of pay and production in France, Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, 1860-1960. Macmillan, London 1968
  • The Inequality of Pay. Oxford University Press, Oxford 1977, ISBN 0-19-885097-2

Literature on Phelps Brown

  • Peter Riach: Henry Phelps Brown on Wages, Productivity and the Wage Share. In: Review of Political Economy. 8th vol., 1996, pp. 211-232
  • David Worswick: Ernest Henry Phelps Brown, 1906-1994 . In: Proceedings of the British Academy . tape 90 , 1996, pp. 319-344 ( thebritishacademy.ac.uk [PDF]).

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Deceased Fellows. British Academy, accessed May 9, 2020 .