W. Arthur Lewis

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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 and Theodore Schultz won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics.


  • There are still people who discuss industrialization as... an alternative to agricultural improvement... this approach is without meaning in the West Indian Islands. There is no choice... between industry and agriculture. The islands need as large agriculture as possible... It is not ... that agriculture cannot continue to develop if industry is developed … the opposite is true: agriculture cannot... yield a reasonable standard of living unless new jobs are created off the land
    • Lewis (1950; 831-2) as cited in: Mark Figueroa. "Rethinking Caribbean agriculture, re-evaluating Arthur Lewis misunderstood perspective." (2008).
  • I had no idea in 1933 what economics was, but I did well in the subject from the start, and when I graduated in 1937 with first class honours LSE gave me a scholarship to do a PhD in industrial economics.
    • Lewis (1979). "Sir Arthur Lewis - Biographical," cited in: Toporowski, Jan. "Sir William Arthur Lewis (1915–91)." Fifty Key Thinkers on Development (2006): 144.

Quotes about W. Arthur Lewis[edit]

  • Quickly gaining the attention of the leadership of colonized territories, he helped develop blueprints for the changing relationship between the former colonies and their former rulers. He made significant contributions to Ghana's quest for economic growth and the West Indies' desire to create a first-class institution of higher learning serving all of the Anglophone territories in the Caribbean.
    • Robert L. Tignor. W. Arthur Lewis and the Birth of Development Economics, 2005. Backcover.

External links[edit]

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