Journalist and statistician who wrote on economic and financial subjects mainly, notably on indicators such as wage rates, economic growth, and national product.
Fierce supporter of laissez-faire, pro-free trade and anti-bimetallism.
Credited by Alfred Marshall for suggesting the possibility that, in the case of some inferior goods, the income effects are so strong that the law of demand may be violated.
Actual examples of such ‘Giffen goods’ are rare (e.g. the oft-mentioned example is the potato in Ireland).
Major Works of Robert Giffen
– Economic Inquiries and Studies, 1869-1902
– Stock Exchange Securities, 1877
– Essays in Finance, 1880
– On Some Bimetallic Fallacies, 1886
– Growth of Capital, 1889
– A Problem in Money, 1892, Nineteenth Century
– Fancy Monetary Standards, 1892, EJ
– The Case Against Bimetallism, 1892