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John Jewkes

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Biography of John Jewkes from the University of Buckingham website

John Jewkes (1902 - 1988) is best known for his book Ordeal by Planning which he wrote in 1946 in an attempt to show that the wartime planning system, which many people wished to maintain and develop in the post-war world, would condemn the United Kingdom to poverty and failure. If Friedrich von Hayek in The Road to Serfdom provided a more celebrated philosophical treatise, it was Jewkes who produced a more down to earth and practically convincing case against central planning.
Jewkes was a superb (and sometimes polemical) writer, as well as a first rate exponent of basic economic principles. Intellectually he was close to the Ordo-Kreis school of liberal writers in Germany and he wrote an introduction to the English translation of Walter Eucken's book This Unsuccessful Age in 1951. Later in the 1950s and 1960s he wrote Public and Private Enterprise and The Sources of Invention. He was, for a period, President of the Mont Pelerin Society. The theme which runs through his work is the importance of individual action in achieving progress, in contrast to those who emphasised the importance of large scale organisations. He became Professor of Economic Organisation at Merton College Oxford.
Buckingham's Martin Ricketts worked as a Research Economist for John Jewkes between 1970 and 1972. Jewkes, at that time was the Director of the Industrial Policy Group a 'think tank' which produced papers on microeconomic questions such as monopoly and mergers policy, capital investment and taxation. On Jewkes's death in 1988, his friend and colleague Professor Stanley Dennison organised a fund in his memory which has been used to endow a scholarship at the University of Buckingham. The scholarship is worth £1,000 and is awarded to the economics student with the best performance in the Part 1 examinations. The examiners may decide not to award the prize if they consider the general standard does not warrant it.