Francis Ysidro Edgeworth – Life and Contributions
ECON 483 University of Calgary
March 28, 2014
Francis Ysidro Edgeworth was a highly developmental figure in neo-classical economics, and was the first to apply advanced mathematical techniques to that of an individual's economic decisions. A thinker and intellectual, his contributions were largely underrated at the time due to their general complexity and difficulty to understand. Many of his ideas are still just recently being understood, with their adaptability and usefulness now finally being realized. This paper will discuss the biographical details of his life and his major contributions applicable to economics. Edgeworth's work greatly advanced the field of microeconomics, relationships in trade between multiple players, and general statistical methods.
F Y Edgeworth was born on the 8th of February, 1845 on his family’s estate in Edgeworthstown, Ireland which was named after the prominent family he was part of. Born to a Spanish refugee mother and a father of Huguenot French heritage, gave Edgeworth an appearance that reflected his unique ancestry. The Edgeworth family included prominent figures such as Richard Lovell Edgeworth, Francis’ grandfather, who was a politician, writer, and inventor while Francis’ aunt Maria Edgeworth, a renowned author often considered one of the great writers in English history. Richard Edgeworth had three different wives and bore twenty two children throughout his lifetime, and was the original builder of the estate and town that carried his name. He obtained considerable wealth throughout his life and was politically well known and respected, leading to the widely varying success of his progenies (O’ Connor et al, 2003). Maria was known to have communicated with leading economic writers and great minds of the time such as David Ricardo and Jeremy Bentham. She had debated the issue of...