Entrepreneurship, knowledge and employment

Andreas M. Andréadès: An Orthodox Economist in Unorthodox Times

Stassinopoulos Yorgos, Panteion University

Andreas Andréadès (1876 - 1935) was a prolific writer who is today mostly remembered for his monumental History of the Bank of England. However, in his times, he was considered a distinguished economist by international standards and an expert on financial economic history. As accurately described by Keynes, he “was a man of wide culture, almost as much interested in literature and the arts as in politics, economics and history”. At the age of 30 he became professor of Public Finance and Statistics at the University of Athens (1906) and served as Greece’s delegate at the League of Nations (1912 - 1913). Later, he became one of the founding members of the Academy of Athens (1926) and at other important scientific societies of his time. The purpose of the present paper is to trace and discuss his approach to economic inquiry, giving emphasis to his ideas on Public Finance. Although an ardent liberal economist, he great extkept distances from marginal theory and neoclassical abstract reasoning, not only because he wanted to remain descriptive and aloof from political controversies, but he regarded Public Finance as a complex collective decision-making procedure and implicitly comprises moral and political implications. He was also concerned with the ethical and political issues that intersect economic activity Andréadès constantly reminded that the theory of “Public Finance is a national-laden science, therefore a priori systems could not grow by pure theory itself”. Hence, the purpose of Public Finance study is not only the application of the principles of Finance and the comparisons among several countries, but “the examination of what happened in the past, what is happening now and what can be done in every single country”, i.e. a scientific research programme that unveil the indispensable variety of economic systems and the and the existing impediments for the implementation of sound fiscal principles.

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Keywords: Andreas M. Andréadès, Public Finance, Greece

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