World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

W. Arthur Lewis

Article Id: WHEBN0000563078
Reproduction Date:

Title: W. Arthur Lewis  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Dual-sector model, Saint Lucian expatriates in the United Kingdom, Saint Lucian expatriates in the United States, Arthur Lewis, Nobel laureates in economics
Collection: 1915 Births, 1991 Deaths, 20Th-Century Economists, Academics of the University of Manchester, Alumni of the London School of Economics, Development Economists, Economists, Knights Bachelor, Nobel Laureates in Economics, People Associated with the University of the West Indies, People from Castries Quarter, Princeton University Faculty, Saint Lucian Expatriates in the United Kingdom, Saint Lucian Expatriates in the United States, Saint Lucian Nobel Laureates, Saint Lucian People of African Descent, Saint Lucian People of Antigua and Barbuda Descent
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

W. Arthur Lewis

Sir Arthur Lewis
Sir William Arthur Lewis, official Nobel Prize photo
Born William Arthur Lewis
(1915-01-23)23 January 1915
Castries, Saint Lucia, British Windward Islands
Died 15 June 1991(1991-06-15) (aged 76)
Saint Michael, Barbados
Nationality Saint Lucia, United Kingdom
Fields Economics
Institutions LSE (1938–48)
University of Manchester (1948–58)
University of West Indies (1959–63)
Princeton University (1963–91)
Alma mater LSE
Thesis The economics of loyalty contracts (1940)
Doctoral advisor Sir Arnold Plant
Known for Development Economics
Industrial structure
History of the World Economy
Notable awards Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (1979)
Spouse Glady Jacobs Lewis (m. 1947), 2 daughters[1]

Sir William Arthur Lewis (23 January 1915 – 15 June 1991) was a Saint Lucian economist well known for his contributions in the field of economic development. In 1979 he won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics.


  • Biography 1
  • Legacy and honours 2
  • Key works 3
    • The "Lewis Model" 3.1
    • The Theory of Economic Growth 3.2
  • See also 4
  • Notes 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Arthur Lewis was born in

  • Arthur Lewis Papers at the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton University
  • Saint Lucian Nobel Laureates
  • Biography available in Nobel Laureates of Saint Lucia
  • Nobel e-Museum: Arthur Lewis
  • Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, Saint Lucia
  • Sir Arthur Lewis – Prize Lecture
  • The Lewisian Turning Point and Its Implications to Labor Protection (The Institute of Population and Labor Economics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)
  • W. Arthur Lewis (1915–1991).  

External links

  • Biography
  • Biography on the "Sir Arthur Lewis Community College" website
  • Breit, William, and Barry T. Hirsch (eds, 2004). Lives of the Laureates (4th edn). Cambridge, Mass: The MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-52450-3.
  • Lewis, William Arthur (2003). The Theory of Economic Growth. London: Taylor and Francis, 453 pages.  


  1. ^ "LEWIS, W. Arthur" (PDF). Retrieved 17 July 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 1979", Nobel in Economics, 1979. Accessed 5 January 2011.
  3. ^ Tignor, Robert L. (2006). W. Arthur Lewis and the Birth of Development Economics. Princeton University Press. pp. 7–8.  
  4. ^ Tignor, pp. 11–13.
  5. ^ Felix Brenton, "Sir (William) Arthur Lewis (1915–1991)", Black Past website.
  6. ^ Hunt, Diana (1989). "W. A. Lewis on ‘Economic Development with Unlimited Supplies of Labour’". Economic Theories of Development: An Analysis of Competing Paradigms. New York: Harvester Wheatsheaf. pp. 87–95.  
  7. ^ Gollin, Douglas (2014). "The Lewis Model: A 60-Year Retrospective".  
  8. ^ Lewis, W. Arthur (1954). "Economic Development with Unlimited Supplies of Labor".  
  9. ^ a b  
  10. ^ "China Reaches Turning Point as Inflation Overtakes Labor". Bloomberg. 11 June 2010. 


See also

Lewis published The Theory of Economic Growth in 1955 in which he sought to “provide an appropriate framework for studying economic development,” driven by a combination of “curiosity and of practical need.”[9]

The Theory of Economic Growth

The point at which the excess labor in the subsistence sector is fully absorbed into the modern sector, and where further capital accumulation begins to increase wages, is sometimes called the Lewisian turning point. It has recently been widely discussed in the context of economic development in China.[10]

Lewis combined an analysis of the historical experience of developed countries with the central ideas of the classical economists to produce a broad picture of the development process. In his theory, a "capitalist" sector develops by taking labour from a non-capitalist backward "subsistence" sector. At an early stage of development, the "unlimited" supply of labour from the subsistence economy means that the capitalist sector can expand for some time without the need to raise wages. This results in higher returns to capital, which are reinvested in capital accumulation. In turn, the increase in the capital stock leads the "capitalists" to expand employment by drawing further labor from the subsistence sector. Given the assumptions of the model (for example, that the profits are reinvested and that capital accumulation does not substitute for skilled labor in production), the process becomes self-sustaining and leads to modernization and economic development.[8][9]

Lewis published in 1954 what was to be his most influential development economics article, "Economic Development with Unlimited Supplies of Labour" (Manchester School).[6] In this publication, he introduced what came to be called the Dual Sector model, or the "Lewis Model".[7]

The "Lewis Model"

Key works

  • Arthur Lewis Community College, St. Lucia, was named in his honour.
  • The Arthur Lewis Building (opened in 2007) at the University of Manchester was named for him, as he had lectured there for several years before entering governmental positions.

Legacy and honours

He died on 15 June 1991 in Bridgetown, Barbados. He was buried in the grounds of the St Lucian community college named in his honour. He was survived by his wife, Gladys Jacobs Lewis of Barbados and Princeton, NJ; two daughters, Elizabeth Lewis of Cranbury, NJ, and Barbara Virgil of Brooklyn; and four brothers, Stanley Lewis of Ghana, Earl Lewis of Trinidad, Allen Lewis, a former Governor General of St Lucia, and Victor Lewis of St Lucia.

Lewis received the Nobel prize in Economics in 1979, sharing it with Theodore Schultz.[2]

That year, he was also appointed a University Professor at Princeton University and moved to the United States. Lewis worked at Princeton for the next two decades, teaching generations of students until his retirement in 1983. In 1970 Lewis also was selected as the first president of the Caribbean Development Bank.

In 1959 Lewis returned to the Caribbean region when appointed Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies. In 1963 he was knighted for his contributions to economics.

When Ghana gained independence in 1957, its government appointed Lewis as their first economic advisor. He helped draw up its first Five-Year Development Plan (1959–63).[5]

That year he was selected as a lecturer at the University of Manchester, and moved there with his family. He taught at Manchester until 1957. During this period, he developed some of his most important concepts about the patterns of capital and wages in developing countries. He particularly became known for his contributions to development economics, of great interest as former colonies began to gain independence from European nations.

After gaining his Bachelor of Science degree in 1937 and a Ph.D. degree in 1940 at the London School of Economics (LSE), Lewis worked as a member of the staff at the LSE until 1948. In 1947, he married Gladys Jacobs, and they had two daughters together.

[4], and the two remained lifelong friends.Trinidad and Tobago of prime minister, the future first Eric Williams After finishing school at the age of 15, Lewis worked as a clerk, while waiting to take his university entrance exam. During this time he became friends with [3]

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.