UCL Department of Economics


William Stanley Jevons (1835 - 1882)

The most eminent figure to hold a professorship of economics at UCL was William Stanley Jevons, also earlier a student of the college. Often seen as the main British contributor to the marginalist revolution in economic thought of the 1870s, he challenged Ricardian ideas, seeking for instance to replace theories of value based on labour input with theories based on utility. In his support for the use of mathematical analysis in economics and in his practical use of economic statistics, he can be seen as one of the first exponents of recognisably modern econometric methods.

As a young student Jevons lived at 9 Oval Road and 13 Albert Street, both in Camden Town to the north of the college. Returning to the college later he lived at 8 Porteus Road, near the Little Venice area of Paddington. His final years were lived at 2 The Chestnuts, Branch Hill, Hampstead – the address still exists and oddly bears a blue plaque to one of its later residents, Paul Robeson. Jevons drowned while swimming when on holiday at Hastings and is buried in Hampstead cemetery in north London.