'A sense of number and reality': Economics and government in Australia, 1920-50

Nicholas Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This article integrates three lines of enquiry through a study of Australian economics in the inter-war years. The first relates to the 'systems of dispersion' surrounding the formation of economic enquiry in the Australian context of state interventionism and developmentalism. The second explores the forms of professionalism through which that knowledge was brought into practice, especially with reference to the education of economists drawn into wartime government in the 1940s. The third strand more tentatively proposes a critical perspective on the emergence of 'economic rationalism' in public policy in the 1980s by historicizing the values seen to be inherent in the culture and practice of welfarist economics, and particularly by assessing aspects of the relation between micro-economic and macro-economic models of state intervention with reference to the impact of Keynesian theory in the late 1930s.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-256
Number of pages24
JournalEconomy and Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 1997
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of ''A sense of number and reality': Economics and government in Australia, 1920-50'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this