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Brotherly love and the making of a British economist


  • Alex Millmow

    () (University of Ballarat, Australia - The Business School)


It is extremely rare to have two brothers share the same vocation, the same discipline even the same research interest. Such is the case of the Alan and Wilfred Prest who became, in their own right, leading figures in public finance theory and its application. The two Englishmen, born more than a decade apart, remained remarkably close throughout their lives. Since the elder of the two, Wilfred, emigrated to Australia and made his career there it meant that a long correspondence between the two and this article draws heavily upon it. Unfortunately the correspondence flowed only one way, from Alan in England to Wilfred in Australia. The letters began with Alan describing his Cambridge education in the afterglow of Keynes having publishing his General Theory. It was a correspondence that was to run for nearly 50 years and covered such items as requests for assistance, personalities, Cambridge life, wartime experiences and the state of economics. Arguably Alan achieved even greater success than his brother being given a chair at the London School of Economics but it never seemed to alter the relationship between the two.

Suggested Citation

  • Alex Millmow, 2013. "Brotherly love and the making of a British economist," History of Economic Ideas, Fabrizio Serra Editore, Pisa - Roma, vol. 21(2), pages 99-117.
  • Handle: RePEc:hid:journl:v:21:y:2013:2:5:p:99-117

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