RSS sections and groups meeting reports

History of Statistics section meeting: The price of everything

Written by Web News Editor on . Posted in Sections and local group meeting reports

On 9 March 2018 the RSS History of Statistics section held a meeting titled: 'The price of everything: The papers of William Beveridge and Arthur Bowley at LSE'.

This was the third meeting in the Section’s series on major archives. It was held at the RSS in London and the speaker was Indy Bhullar, curator for economics and social policy at LSE. He spoke about two individuals associated with the school, both former Presidents of the RSS.

William Beveridge’s place in history rests on two achievements: as director of the LSE for most of the inter-war period, he established the school’s international standing; in the Second World War (when he was Master of University College Oxford) he returned to the field of social administration as an unofficial civil servant and became the formative influence on the post-war welfare state with his 1942 report.

William Beveridge also spent a large part of his life leading a massive economic history research project of which he only managed to publish the first volume, called 'Prices and wages in England from the twelfth to the nineteenth century'. He worked on the project for decades and it remained unfinished when he died. It’s both ironic and fitting that this life’s work should account for the bulk of the Library’s Beveridge holdings.

Arthur Bowley’s spent the majority of his working life at the school, beginning as a part-time lecturer and becoming the first Professor of Statistics. Bowley was an economic statistician, an expert on poverty and pioneer of the sample survey.

A question and answer session followed. The meeting was very informative and the efforts of the librarian much appreciated.


History of Statistics Section

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