Profile Major Works Resources

George L.S. Shackle, 1903-1992

Photo of G.L.S.Shackle

Although born in Cambridge, George Lennox Sharman Shackle obtained his Ph.D. from the L.S.E. in 1937, at the height of the early Robbins years.  Shackle was a professor of economics at the University of Liverpool for most of his life.

A pioneering Post Keynesian, G.L.S. Shackle was among the first economists to insist on the importance of "real" uncertainty and time for economic theory. This was an outcome of his early work in investment and business cycle theory (for which see his now famous 1938 dissertation, Expectations, Investment and Income).

His work on uncertainty focused on moving away from probability- based resultions for uncertain situations and moving towards more complex modes of behavior which include "potential surprise", "focus-outcome" of competing choices, much of it linked to uncertainty-induced demand failures. Much of his theory was set out in the breakthrough work, Expectation in Economics (1949).

His reflections on the concept of "time" in economics and how that is related to uncertainty and decision-making was a life-long concern of Shackle. His work Time in Economics (1958), Decision, Order and Time in Human Affairs (1961) and A Scheme of Economic Theory (1965) provide exemplary results of this.

Two of his works on doctrinal economic history have become classics: his Years of High Theory detailing the economic debates surrounding the Keynesian Revolution in Britain are invaluable as is his Epistemtics and Economics, an incisive critical evaluation of various economic theories.  



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Major works of G.L.S. Shackle

  • Expectations, Investment and Income, 1938.
  • "The Multiplier in Closed and Open Systems", 1939, Oxford EP.
  • "Myrdal's Analysis of Monetary Equilibrium", 1945, Oxford EP.
  • "Interest Rates and the Pace of Investment", 1946, EJ.
  • "The Deflative or Inflative Tendency of Government Receipts and Disbursements", 1947, Oxford EP.
  • "Probability and Uncertainty", 1949, Metroeconomica.
  • "Non-Additive Measure of Uncertainty", 1949, RES.
  • Expectation in Economics, 1949.
  • "The Nature of Interest Rates", 1949, Oxford EP.
  • "Three Versions of the f-Surface: Some notes for a comparison", 1950, RES.
  • "The Nature and Role of Profit", 1951, Metroeconomica.
  • "Twenty Years On: a survey of the theory of the multiplier", 1951, EJ.
  • "On the Meaning and Measure of Uncertainty", 1952-3, two papers, Metroeconomica.
  • "The Logic of Surprise", 1953, Economica.
  • "A Chart of Economic Theory", 1953, Metroeconomica.
  • Uncertainty in Economics and Other Reflections, 1955.
  • "Expectation and Liquidity", 1958, in Bowman, editor, Uncertainty and Business Decision.
  • Time in Economics, 1958.
  • Decision, Order and Time in Human Affairs, 1961.
  • A Scheme of Economic Theory, 1965.
  • The Years of High Theory: Invention and tradition in economic thought, 1926-1939., 1967.
  • "On the Nature of Profit", 1967, Woolwich Economic Papers.
  • Expectations, Enterprise and Profit, 1970.
  • Epistemics and Economics, 1972.
  • "Marginalism: The harvest", 1972, HOPE.
  • Keynesian Kaleidics, 1974.
  • "New Tracks for Economic Theory, 1926-1939", 1977, in Weintraub, editor, Modern Economic Thought.
  • Imagination and the Nature of Choice, 1979.
  • "Means and Meaning in Economic Theory", 1982, Scottish JE.
  • "A Student's Pilgrimmage", 1983, BNLQR.
  • "The Bounds of Unknowledge", 1983, in Wiseman, editor, Beyond Positive Economics.
  • "Levels of Simplicity in Keynes's Theory of Money and Employment", 1983, South African JE.
  • "The Origination of Choice", 1986, in Kirzner, editor, Subjectivism, Intelligibility and Economic Understanding.
  • Business, Time and Thought, 1988.
  • "A Student's Pilgrimmage" 1989, in Kregel, editor, Recollections of Eminent Economists.




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Resources on G.L.S. Shackle

  • "Professor Shackle on the Economic Significance of Time", by L.M.Lachmann, 1959, Metroeconomica.
  • "Shackle: A critical samping", by Don Lavoie, 1978, JLS [mis]
  • "An Interview with G.L.S. Shackle", in Austrian Economics Newsletter, Spring 1983 [mis] [full version: mis]
  • Choice, Expectation and Uncertainty: An appraisal of G.L.S. Shackle's Theory, by G.L. Ford, 1983.
  • "G.L.S. Shackle, 1903-1992: A life with uncertainty", by G.L. Ford. 1993, EJ.
  • G.L.S. Shackle: the dissenting economist's economist by G.L. Ford, 1994
  • "The relevance of the Marshallian concept of normality in interior and inertial dynamics as revisited by Shackle and Kornai" by M Vahabi, 1998, Cambridge JE
  • "Dynamic Time and Originative Choice: Shackle revisited" by Thorbjoern Knudsen, 2000 [pdf]
  • "Alfred Shütz and George Shackle: Two views of choice" by Roger Koppl, 2001, RAE [pdf]
  • "Buchanan and Shackle on Cost, Choice and Subjective Economics" by S C Littlechild, 2002, Method, Morals and Constitutional Economics
  • "Probabilistic versus non-probabilistic decision making: Savage, Shackle and beyond" by Marcello Basili and Carlo Zappia, 2003 [pdf]
  • "Reflections on George Shackle: three excerpts from the Shackle collection" by Bruce Littlechild, 2003 [pdf]
  • "From Hayek to Keynes: G.L.S. Shackle and our ignorance of the future" by G. Hill, 2004 [pdf]
  • "Shackle versus Savage: Non-probabilistic alternatives to subjective probability theory in the 1950s", by Carlo Zappia and Marcello Basili 2005 [pdf]
  • "Uncertainty and Expectations in Shackle's Theory of Capital and Interest" by Ferdinando Meacci, 2006 [pdf]
  • "Shackle: Time and uncertainty in economics" by Andres Cantillo, 2010 [pdf]
  • "G.L.S. Shackle: selected highlights" by Bruce Littleboy [pdf]
  • "Religious undercurrents in the writings of G.L.S. Shackle", by Bruce Littleboy, 2010 [pdf]
  • "G.L.S. Shackle: Can we reconcile the irreconciliable?" by Bruce Littleboy, 2011 [pdf]
  • "G.L.S. Shackle and the economics of uncertainty"  article at Austrian Economics blog, 2011
  • "Non-Bayesian decision theory ante litteram: the case of G.L.S. Shackle" by Carlo Zappia, 2012 [pdf]
  • "The Economic Consequences of G L S Shackle's Ignorance of Keynes's Theory of Probability, Uncertainty, and Decision Making" by M.E. Brady, 2013 [ssrn]
  • "G.L.S. Shackle and the indeterminacy of economics" blog at Uneasy Money, 2014
  • G.L.S. Shackle profile at Mises Institute.
  • Wikiliberal
  • Wikipedia
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