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Fred Manville Taylor (1855-1932) was a U.S. economist and educator best known for his contribution to the theory of market socialism. He taught mostly history at Albion College from 1879 to 1892. He taught in the department of economics at University of Michigan from 1892 to 1929 after receiving his Ph.D. in political philosophy there in 1888. His Principles text went through 9 editions. Of a libertarian ideology, he was noted as a clear and rigorous expositor of economic theory in the partial-equilibrium lineage of Alfred Marshall (Fusfeld, 1987).

In his presidential address before the American Economic Association, Taylor (1929) laid out the conditions under which a socialist economy could in theory achieve an efficient allocation of resources. The conditions parallel those of a private-enterprise economy. They include the state providing money income to its citizens, citizens using their income as they choose to buy output produced by state enterprises, and the state setting prices equal to least cost so as to compensate factors of production, including labor, with prices set by trial-and-error to clear markets. In this, Taylor laid out principles of market socialism developed by Abba Lerner and Oscar Lange in the following decade and anticipated in mathematical form by Enrico Barone in 1908.

References

  • Z. Clark Dickinson (1960). "Fred M. Taylor's Views on Socialism," Economica, N.S. 27(105), pp. 42-52.
  • Daniel R. Fusfeld (1987). "Taylor, Fred Manville" The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics, v. 4, pp. 611-12.
  • F.M. Taylor (1911, 9th ed, 1925). Principles of Economics. Preview (1921 8th ed.), chapter links, arrow-searchable, pp. vii-xi.
  • Fred M. Taylor (1929). "The Guidance of Production in a Socialist State," American Economic Review, 19(1), pp. 1-8, reprinted in On the Economic Theory of Socialism (1938) and Socialism and the Market: The Socialist Calculation Debate Revisited (2000), pp. 1-8.
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