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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
VOLUME XVIII. Later National Literature, Part III.

XXIV. Economists

§ 18. Francis A. Walker

Far and away the most prominent figure of the period was Francis A. Walker (1840–97), who was the first lecturer on economics at Johns Hopkins in 1876. Although not acquainted with much of the newer Continental literature in economics, General Walker possessed a powerful intellect and was so hospitable to the newer ideas that he lent his weighty support to the efforts of the younger men to put economic study on a scientific basis. He became the first president of the American Economic Association. His chief works, each marked by vigour and independence of thought, are The Wages Question (1876), Money (1878), Land and its Rent (1881), Political Economy (1883), International Bimetallism (1896), and Discussions in Economics and Statistics (1899). Walker helped to give the coup de grâce to the wages fund doctrine, and his theory of distribution has come to be known as the residual theory. Not only did he exert a great influence on economic thought but his contributions to statistics as Superintendent of the Ninth and Tenth Census were scarcely less pronounced.