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The Webbs, public administration and the LSE : the origin of public governance and institutional economics in Britain

Eriguchi, Taku (2009) The Webbs, public administration and the LSE : the origin of public governance and institutional economics in Britain. History of Economics Review (50). pp. 17-30. ISSN 1037-0196

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Abstract

This paper is devoted to an examination of the early development of Institutional Economics in the LSE and this is primarily undertaken by evaluating the governance theory of Sidney and Beatrice Webb. When the Webbs started to enquire into the control of industry during the First World War, they realised that the new devices which were introduced under a war economy, such as costing and accounting, could be utilised in peacetime. However, not unlike James Buchanan half a century after them, they questioned the capacity of a bureaucracy to function efficiently on the grounds that asymmetry of information made it difficult for Parliament to control bureaucratic operations. They tried to devise new machinery to achieve this end. This research agenda was to become a stream of thought in the field of public administration at the London School of Economics.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Issue 50, Summer 2009. Based on a paper of the same title given at HETSA 2008 (History of Economic Thought Society of Australia), 13th July 2008, Western Sydney University - see webbs.library.lse.ac.uk/922 link from which the lecture's full text is available.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
L Education > LA History of education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
L Education > LF Individual institutions (Europe)
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2016 11:35
Last Modified: 25 May 2017 14:51
URI: http://webbs.library.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/839

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