Henry Calvert Simons

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Henry Calvert Simons (October 9, 1899 – June 19, 1946) was an American economist at the University of Chicago. His anti-trust and monetarist models influenced the Chicago school of economics.


  • Eliminate all forms of monopolistic market power, to include the breakup of large oligopolistic corporations and application of anti-trust laws to labor unions. A Federal incorporation law could be used to limit corporation size and where technology required giant firms for reasons of low cost production the Federal government should own and operate them... Promote economic stability by reform of the monetary system and establishment of stable rules for monetary policy... Reform the tax system and promote equity through income tax... Abolish all tariffs... Limit waste by restricting advertising and other wasteful merchandising practices.
    • A Positive Program for Laissez Faire, (1934)

Quotes about Simons[edit]

  • It will by the way be of interest to you that the main goal of my America trip was an attempt to arrange in Chicago a larger study about the question as to what changes are necessary in the “legal framework” in order to make the competitive economy effective. Unfortunately the man on whom my plans were mostly centered, Henry Simons, died suddenly and I do not know yet if the project can be continued despite that. The idea was a positive complement to my book.
    • Friedrich Hayek, Letter to Walter Eucken from November 3, 1946, in F. A. Hayek Archives, Box 18/Folder 40, Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University
    • quoted in Ekkaehard A. Köhler and Stefan Kolev, "The Conjoint Quest for a Liveral Positive Program: "Old Chicago," Freiburg, and Hayek" in F. A. Hayek and the Modern Economy: Economic Organization and Activity (2013) edited by Sandra J. Peart and ‎David M. Levy
  • Henry C. Simons... his pamphlet, A Positive Program for Laissez Faire, offered a new and common basis for the aspirations of America’s young liberals. Hopes for a systematic and comprehensive work from Simons were disappointed; instead, he left a collection of essays which appeared in 1948 under the title Economic Policy for a Free Society. This book became very influential owing to its wealth of ideas and to the courage with which Simons discussed such delicate problems as trade unionism. Today, the nucleus of a group of like-minded economists—no longer confined to Chicago—is formed by Simons’ closest friend, Aaron Director, and two of the best-known younger American theoreticians, George Stigler and Milton Friedman. Director has edited Simons’ papers and carried on his work.
    • Friedrich Hayek, "The Transmission of the Ideals of Economic Freedom" (1951), reprinted in Studies in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (1967)

External links[edit]

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