Retrospectives: Captains of Industry
AbstractThis paper traces the origin and use of the term "captains of industry." Introduced by the Scottish historian and essayist Thomas Carlyle in the mid-nineteenth century, its meanings and associations were very different from today. For Carlyle, they were ferocious instruments of social control who would force the unemployed and idle to work and, if necessary, discipline them. The term, if not the meaning, rapidly entered the popular lexicon. It was brought into economics by Francis Walker, the first president of the AEA, who argued that the captain of industry was a fourth factor of production and the engine of industrial progress. While many other writers shared this view, Veblen did not.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.
Volume (Year): 16 (2002)
Issue (Month): 2 (Spring)
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- Edgeworth, Francis Ysidro, 1904. "The Theory of Distribution," History of Economic Thought Articles, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, February.
- Barber, William J, 1987. "Should the American Economic Association Have Toasted Simon Newcomb at Its 100th Birthday Party?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 179-83, Summer.
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