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Dr Geoffrey Harcourt AC LittD FRSN FASSA FAcSS

Emeritus Fellow
Emeritus Reader
History of economic theory

Geoff Harcourt is an Emeritus Fellow at Jesus specialising in the history of economic theory, and a former President of the College.

Academic interests

Geoff Harcourt's academic interests include:

  • Post Keynesian theory, application, and policy
  • Intellectual biography
  • History of economic theory.

Degrees obtained

  • BCom Hons, 1954 University of Melbourne.
  • MCom, 1956 University of Melbourne.
  • PhD, 1960 Cambridge.
  • LittD, 1988 Cambridge.
  • Honorary Degrees from De Montfort (1997), Melbourne (2003), and Fribourg (2003) universities.

Awards and prizes

  • Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia in 1971 and the United Kingdom in 2003.
  • Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia “for service to economic theory and to the history of economic thought”, 1994.
  • Distinguished Fellow of the Economic Society of Australia, 1996.
  • Distinguished Fellow of the History of Economics Society USA, 2004.
  • Honorary Member of the European Society of the History of Economic Thought, 2004.
  • Veblen – Commons Award of the Association for Evolutionary Economics, USA 2011.
  • 2012 Distinguished Fellow, History of Economic Thought Society of Australia.
  • 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award of the University of Adelaide ‘in recognition of his outstanding leadership and contribution nationally and internationally in the field of economics’.
  • 2015 Jubilee Fellow, Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.
  • 2016 Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW (FRSN)
  • Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia in the 2018 Queen's Birthday Honours List


After studying economics at the University of Melbourne he moved to the University of Cambridge, where he received his doctorate.

In 1958 he moved to the University of Adelaide as a lecturer and was appointed to a chair in Economics at Adelaide in 1967. He was a University Lecturer at Cambridge and a Fellow of Trinity Hall 1964–66, on leave without pay from Adelaide.

He was a University Lecturer from 1982 to 1990 and Reader from 1990 to 1998 in the Faculty of Economics at Cambridge and a Fellow, and College Lecturer in Economics, Jesus College, Cambridge, from 1982 to 1998. He was President of Jesus College Cambridge from 1988 to 1989 and 1990 to 1992.

He has made major contributions to the understanding of the ideas of Keynes, Joan Robinson, and other Cambridge economists. He has also made important contributions in his own right to post Keynesian and post Kaleckian theory.

A review article of one of his volumes of 'Selected Essays' argues that insofar as he has written on capital theory, it has been as an innovator and not as a mere raconteur, and that he has developed his own suite of post Keynesian models. This is evident, for example, in his 1965 paper 'A two-sector model of the distribution of income and the level of employment in the short-run' which is reprinted in The Social Science Imperialists: Selected Essays of G.C. Harcourt.

Other interests

Cricket, Australian rules football, running, gossip (political and social), reading, novels, biographies, and detective stories.

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