Sir William Arthur Lewis-His Contribution to Economics. His concept on Economic Balance between Developed and non developed.

William Arthur Lewis: His Background, Education, Career and Contribution to world Economic development. Concept of realism. 

   On 10th December,2020 Global Media is circulating news and articles on Nobel Winner Economist, William Arthur Lewis, as he is nominated as Google doodle.


   Of course, he is a deserving nomination as world great portfolio. Before telling about his contribution to economic development, we need to look around his  biography. Sir William Arthur Lewis was born on 23rd January in the year 1915 in a small city of Castries. There was no privilege of Standard education So his parents shifted their resident to St. Lucia. Arthur Lewis was fourth of five Son of the two school teacher, Gorge Ferdinand and Ida Lewis. Being a teacher both of their parents were conscious about their kids future, they were ready to shift from their native place.

  In 1922, at the age of seven Lewis was attacked by severe illness. He was unable to attend school for several weeks. During this home quarantine, his father, Ferdinand tutored him as well as he competed with his two years senior students. Everything will not be in right way, is a fallacy of human life. The next year he lost his father that might be a catastrophe in his career graph. But the widow, Ida Lewis was not in the category of the hopeless. She admitted Arthur two years higher class as he was too talented to complete the course which his co-student can complete after two years. He had his brain maturity but physically he was faint and weak for which he was feeling inferiority. He confessed that it made him inferior in his life  until he was 18.   William Arthur Lewis completed his school examination at the age of 14 years. But he could not apply for government scholarship to study in great Britain as he was younger. So he worked three years for St. Lucia government as a Clerk. Then he learnt more about writing, typing and composing notes. At the age of 32, he applied for scholarship and won, then he admitted to LSE, London School of Economics, where he was awarded & honored with first class Bachelor degree in Commerce. He completed his Ph.D. degree in industrial economics in the year 1940. 

Career & Profession: 

In the year 1938 Lewis joined as the lecturer in university of London where he worked till 1948.As a  professor of political economy, he worked at university of Manchester from 1948 to 1958. Later he was the vice Chancellor of university of West Indies from 1959 to 1963. Again he joined as the professor of political economy at Princeton university in the year 1963 and worked till his retirement.

His work on Social & Economic Development.

   William Arthur Lewis was born & brought up earlier British colonial regime where he faced a racial conflict between Black and white ethnicity. He realized that this type of social imbalance can only be cured  by economic development among the communities. He confessed in his biography that he dreamt to be an engineer but he did not pursue as none even in the sugar industries did not provide job for black ethnic. He then diverted his attention to economics. His ultimate aim towards study of economics was to develop a system for upliftment of the downtrodden globally. He researched on different aspects of social drawback of the under developed communities so he moved to different countries of Asia, Africa and Europe to realize actual problems. He started his research work while he was working as lecturer of political economics. He emphasized on two major aspect-One is for establishment of  economic development model and another is to spread the academic apprehension among undeveloped. So in 1950 he set up a  black university for black scholar in Manchester where conveyed the message, "set me learning systematically on development economics from about 1950". He believed on teaching is the best way of learning. He devoted himself in teaching to learn from the followers. In 1957 he returned back to Jamaica, Marne campus that was called latter as university college of West Indies, where he transformed & expanded the institute of Ferring's as the University of West Indies. From 1957 to 1963 Lewis was the United Nation Advisory for Prime Minister of Ghana. In 1963 he was nominated as the deputy managing director on united nation special fund. For his inconsistent efforts for social upliftment, he was knighted by British Queen Elizabeth in1963.

  Lewis published his idea in the form of a short article," Economic development with unlimited supplies of labour" which was published in the magazine called Manchester School. These articles are expanded in his thesis, "The Theory of economic Growth". Most interesting thoughts of Lewis was his "Dual Economy" theory which summarily depicts the roots of economic imbalance between rural and urban. From 1970-1974, He worked on development of monetary flow through his foundation of Caribbean development Bank.

   The Basics of Lewis Economic Theory: According to Lewis observation, there were  two class of economy exist. One is Capitalist Industrial urban economy & another is agriculture rural economy. One side has the higher productivity other side has lower productivity with less opportunity of employment for high surplus volume of labour with low productivity. Lewis suggested to transfer this surplus labour from rural agriculture sector to Industrial sector. He argued that these surplus low productive labour would be engaged for high productivity in industrial sector that increase labour wages as well as marginal profit in the hands of capitalist. The surplus capital comes in the forms of profit to the hands of investor that will enlarge industrial opportunity through re-investment. Thus huge surplus labour would be engaged with higher wages. Lewis model was highly effect full for low economic country but it was low effective for high economic country as industrial saturation & wage balance between rural & urban area. After world war-II most of the colonial regiment was being independent and Lewis model was highly successful all these countries. Later there was too many conflicts on effect fullness of Lewis model. However, Lewis had an innovative concept on economic balances with relevant to time reference.   
  For his explicit work on community development he was awarded Nobel prize in the year 1979 on 10th of December. Lewis retired to a home in Barbados where he died on 15 June, 1991. His body was taken back to St. Lucia in the campus of Sir Arthur Lewis Community College. He is resting there in peace until economy culture alive in the world.


Post a Comment