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Biography of Richard Ferdinand Kahn (1905-1989)


British Economist, born in 1905 in Hampstead, London, England, and died in 1989 in the same city. His greatest contribution to economics was a study on the employment multiplier.

A member of a well-to-do London family, Kahn studied University in the elite centers of St. Paul´s School and King´s College, Cambridge, whose University Professor of Economics, since it occupied 1972 was appointed in 1951.

Although he studied issues related to imperfect competition, Kahn stressed by the definition given of the multiplier in an article published in the Economic Journal, entitled The relation of Home Investment to Unemployment (relationship between domestic investment and unemployment). The content of this article based on his friend and colleague John Maynard Keynes develop the so-called multiplier principle of investment. According to this concept, the increase of employment, led to a policy of public works carried out in the period of unemployment, causes a significant increase of the production of consumer goods which enables a secondary employment growth.

Between the years 1939 to 1944, during the difficult period of the second world war, Kahn was named economic adviser to the Government. In 1973, he wrote his most important work, Select Essays on Employment and Growth (selection of essays on employment and growth), volume in which his main works were collected.


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