Thomas Nixon Carver

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Thomas Nixon Carver
Portrait of Thomas Nixon Carver.jpg
Thomas Nixon Carver, by J.E. Purdy
Born(1865-03-25)March 25, 1865
DiedMarch 8, 1961(1961-03-08) (aged 95)
InstitutionOberlin College
Harvard University
School or
Neoclassical economics
Alma materCornell University
Walter Francis Willcox
Albert B. Wolfe

Thomas Nixon Carver (25 March 1865 – 8 March 1961) was an American economics professor.

Early life[edit]

He grew up on a farm, the son of Quaker parents.[1] He received an undergraduate education at Iowa Wesleyan College and the University of Southern California. After studying under John Bates Clark and Richard T. Ely at Johns Hopkins University, he received a Ph.D. degree at Cornell University under Walter Francis Willcox in 1894.[2]


He held a joint appointment in economics and sociology at Oberlin College until 1902, when he accepted a position as professor of political economy at Harvard University (1902–1935). For a time, there he taught the only course in sociology. He was the secretary-treasurer of the American Economic Association (1909–1913) and was elected its President in 1916.[3]

Carver's principal achievement in economic theory was to extend Clark's theory of marginalism to determination of interest from saving ('abstinence') and productivity of capital.[4][5] He made pioneering contributions to agricultural and rural economics and in rural sociology.[3][6] He wrote on such diverse topics as monetary economics,[7] macroeconomics,[8] the distribution of wealth,[9] the problem of evil,[10] uses of religion,[11] political science,[12] political economy,[13][14] social justice,[15] behavioral economics,[16] social evolution,[17] and the economics of national survival.[18]



  • (1893). The Place of Abstinence in the Theory of Interest.
  • (1894). The Theory of Wages Adjusted to Recent Theories of Value.
  • (1904). The Distribution of Wealth.
  • (1905). Sociology and Social Progress.
  • (1910). Rural Economy as a Factor in the Success of the Church.
  • (1911). Principles of Rural Economics.
  • (1911). The Religion Worth Having.
  • (1915). Essays in Social Justice.
  • (1916). Selected Readings in Rural Economics.
  • (1916). Selected Writings in Rural Economics.
  • (1917). The Foundations of National Prosperity.
  • (1918). Agricultural Economics.
  • (1919). Government Control of the Liquor Business in Great Britain and the United States.
  • (1919). Principles of Political Economy.
  • (1919). War Thrift.
  • (1920). Elementary Economics [with Maude Carmichael].
  • (1921). Principles of National Economy.
  • (1923). Human Relations: An Introduction to Sociology [with Henry Bass Hall].
  • (1924). The Economy of Human Energy.
  • (1925). The Present Economic Revolution in the United States.
  • (1927). Principles of Rural Sociology [with Gustav A. Lundquist].
  • (1928). Economic World and How It May Be Improved [with Hugh W. Lester].
  • (1932). Our Economic Life.
  • (1935). The Essential Factors of Social Evolution.
  • Carver, Thomas Nixon; Woolman, Mary Schenck; McGowan, Ellen Beers (1935). Textile Problems for the Consumer. New York: Macmillan. OCLC 19422000 – via HathiTrust.
  • (1949). Recollections of an Unplanned Life.

Sole author journal articles[edit]

Carver also co-wrote a number of journal articles, presided over conference presentations, and published in conference proceedings.[19]


  1. ^ Thomas Nixon Carver, 1949. Recollections of an Unplanned Life. "Excerpt". Archived from the original on 27 October 2009. Retrieved 26 September 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link).
  2. ^ Elliott, Clark A.; Rossiter, Margaret W. (1992). Science at Harvard University: Historical Perspectives. Lehigh University Press. p. 199. ISBN 9780934223126.
  3. ^ a b Coats, A. W. (1987). "Carver, Thomas Nixon (1865–1961)". The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. pp. 1–2. doi:10.1057/978-1-349-95121-5_567-1. ISBN 978-1-349-95121-5. OCLC 755272638.
  4. ^ Carver, T. N. (1893). "The Place of Abstinence in the Theory of Interest". The Quarterly Journal of Economics. 8 (1): 40–61. doi:10.2307/1882876. hdl:2027/hvd.32044004792511. JSTOR 1882876.
  5. ^ Carver, T. N. (1903). "The Relation of Abstinence to Interest". The Quarterly Journal of Economics. 18 (1): 142–145. doi:10.2307/1882781. JSTOR 1882781.
  6. ^ Thomas Nixon Carver, 1911. Principles of Rural Economics. Chapter links, pp. vii–x.
  7. ^ Carver, T. N. (1897). "The Value of the Money Unit". The Quarterly Journal of Economics. 11 (4): 429–435. doi:10.2307/1880718. JSTOR 1880718. ProQuest 127816360.
  8. ^ Carver, T. N. (1903). "A Suggestion for a Theory of Industrial Depressions". The Quarterly Journal of Economics. 17 (3): 497–500. doi:10.2307/1882323. hdl:2027/hvd.hnttc5. JSTOR 1882323.
  9. ^ Thomas Nixon Carver, 1904. The Distribution of Wealth. Chapter links.
  10. ^ Carver, Thomas N. (1908). "The Economic Basis of the Problem of Evil". The Harvard Theological Review. 1 (1): 97–111. doi:10.1017/S0017816000006544. JSTOR 1507533.
  11. ^ 1912. The Religion Worth Having. Chapter links.
  12. ^ 1914. "Political Science, I. General Introduction" in William Allan Neilson, ed., Lectures on the Harvard Classics, v. 51 of 51, pp. 328–346.
  13. ^ • 1919. Principles of Political Economy. Chapter links, pp. viiix.
  14. ^ Carver, Thomas Nixon (1960). "A Conservative's Ideas on Economic Reform". The Quarterly Journal of Economics. 74 (4): 536–542. doi:10.2307/1884350. JSTOR 1884350.
  15. ^ 1915. Essays in Social Justice. Chapter links.
  16. ^ Carver, T. N. (1918). "The Behavioristic Man". The Quarterly Journal of Economics. 33 (1): 195–201. doi:10.2307/1885016. JSTOR 1885016.
  17. ^ Thomas Nixon Carver, 1935. The Essential Factors of Social Evolution. Chapter links, pp. ix–xi.
  18. ^ Carver, Thomas N. (1917). "The National Point of View in Economics: Annual Address of the President". The American Economic Review. 7 (1): 3–17. JSTOR 1814767.
  19. ^ Carver, T. N. (1908). "Agricultural Economics. Round Table Discussion: T. N. Carver, Chairman". American Economic Association Quarterly. 9 (1): 59–82. JSTOR 2999987.

External links[edit]