Jevons, William Stanley

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Related to William Stanley Jevons: Vilfredo Pareto, John Stuart Mill, Irving Fisher

Jevons, William Stanley

(1835–82) an English economist who developed UTILITY theory in his book The Theory of Political Economy (1871). Jevons rejected the idea that the value of a good depends upon the labour needed to produce it and argued instead that value depends upon the individual consumer's subjective evaluation of the utility of a good. He suggested that goods are valuable only if they provide utility and that labour and other factors of production become valuable when they are used to produce these goods. Specifically, he showed that a consumer will increase purchases of goods until the MARGINAL UTILITY gained from the last pennyworth of one good equals the marginal quality of the last pennyworth of every other good.

Jevons was also particularly interested in linking statistical analysis with theoretical analysis in economics, and he developed statistical series on production in Britain over a long period to try to determine the cause of BUSINESS CYCLES.

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