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The graph depicts 136 Cambridge economists: 78 with fulltime academic appointments in economics at the university, 44 additional Tripos examiners, and 14 visiting scholars. It maps how they connected with each other and with the many institutions of higher education with which they were affiliated over the course of their lives.



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Fulltime Tripos Examiners Alfred Marshall Lecturers

Cambridge Institutions

Faculties and Departments Colleges

Other Institutions

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[ How to Read this graph ] [ How we use data ] [ The history behind the map ]

    This graph is intended as a general map of economists in Cambridge and has not been designed to highlight any particular connection. On first glance, however, it is easy to see the general separation between the Cambridge Institutions (in green) and the other ones (in red). Those economists (all economists are colored shades of blue) who gravitate towards the red end of the graph might be considered peripheral to a "Cambridge School." On closer inspection, we find that among these, those in dark blue (who had fulltime positions at Cambridge) include John Hicks, who spent an uncomfortable period in Cambridge in the 1930s, the Chicago trade theorist Harry Johnson, and Nicholas Kaldor who came to Cambridge midway through his career. Note the central position and size (determined by the number of connections) of Alfred Marshall and somewhat above him, John Maynard Keynes. These two figures were both charismatic codifiers, shared teachers, mentors, and discipline builders. One might also note how both King's and Trinity, the two largest bright green nodes, seemed to serve as lynchpins for economic thought in Cambridge. Other colleges, though less close to outside influences, also appear smaller. 

    Every connection on the graph is weighted the same, meaning that every connection between two dots (or nodes) pulls the two nodes together with the same force. Each connection (or edge) between an individual and an institution represents either an education, an academic position, or an administrative one. The connections between individuals are harder to define. They include familial connections, student-teacher relationships, work connections, and connections of intellectual influence. Full details can be found in the downloadable datasets.

    Nodes are sized based on the number of connections they have. It should also be noted that certain institutional connections are reflected on the graph. A central "Cambridge" node connects to all Cambridge colleges and faculties. Similarly, all the Oxford, University of London, Wales, and Dublin institutions are connected.

    For general information on sources, refer to the discussion of "Scope and Sources" on the project homepage.

    During the first part of the 20th century, Cambridge was the preeminent center for the development of the economics discipline in Britain and, arguably, in the English-speaking world. The introduction of the independent Tripos (the Cambridge undergraduate examination) in Economic Science in 1903 saw the emergence of an institutionalized program of economics teaching centered around the codifying work of Alfred Marshall and located largely in King's and Trinity. Slowly, other colleges began hiring lecturers in economics and the Faculties of Economics, established with the Tripos in 1903, and of Economic and Political Science, established in 1926, expanded. In many cases, the individuals who showed most promise were hired by the faculties. Unsurprisingly, these were also the individuals who might be tempted away from Cambridge by a chair in London, Manchester, or Oxford. For the first decades of the 20th century, many colleges struggled to offer economics education to their students, hiring tutors and in many cases relying on instructors who had little formal economic training or who taught at several other colleges concurrently. As Oxford, Manchester, and especially the London School of Economics emerged as competing centers for economic thought, Cambridge became increasingly connected to other institutions in the United Kingdom. It also became ever more international, drawing scholars from Central and Western Europe seeking a more hospitable political climate as well as young North American emigres.