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Maurice Herbert Dobb Biography

(1900–76), Political Economy and Capitalism, Studies in the Development of Capitalism

economics cambridge british capitalism

British economist and eminent Marxist scholar, educated at Pembroke College, Cambridge, and the London School of Economics, subsequently Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. Among his many books and articles, two stand out. The first is Political Economy and Capitalism (1937) which the obituary writer for the British Academy claimed marked ‘the emergence of Marxist economics as a really serious economic discipline’. The second, Studies in the Development of Capitalism (1947), is an account of the transition from feudalism to capitalism in Western Europe. Dobb was a strong supporter of labour education, writing many pamphlets for the Workers' Education Association, and was active in British Communist Party circles between the wars. Towards the end of his life, he published a short and accessible book on the history of economic thought: Theories of Value and Distribution since Adam Smith (1973). In 1978 the Cambridge Journal of Economics published a memorial issue devoted to Dobb's life and work.

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