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Eveline Mabel Burns: The Neglected Contributions Of A Social Security Pioneer

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  • KASPER, SHERRY DAVIS

Abstract

From the 1920s to the 1980s, Dr. Eveline Mabel Burns made significant contributions to the discipline of economics. During her career, she taught at world-class universities, including the London School of Economics and Columbia University. She published in the fields of labor economics, general economic theory, economic forecasting, methodology, and social security in leading economic journals. In the 1930s, she began her work in establishing the social security system in the United States. Yet, despite this multitude of accomplishments, the work of Eveline Mabel Burns is barely discernible in accounts of the evolution of twentieth-century economics. This essay remedies that neglect by explicating her career and economics. First, it describes her early years as an economist as she determined the ultimate course of her professional career. Second, it outlines the hybrid institutional method of analysis she used. Third, it describes how she made use of this methodology in her work on social security. Finally, it concludes with an interpretation of her neglect in twentieth-century economics that highlights her gender and her use of institutional methods of analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Kasper, Sherry Davis, 2012. "Eveline Mabel Burns: The Neglected Contributions Of A Social Security Pioneer," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 34(03), pages 321-337, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jhisec:v:34:y:2012:i:03:p:321-337_00
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