W. H. Hutt and the Conceptualization of Consumers’ Sovereignty
Forthcoming, Oxford Economic Papers
29 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2020
Date Written: February 17, 2020
This article examines the meaning of consumers’ sovereignty in the interwar thought of the economist William Harold Hutt. For Hutt, consumers’ sovereignty was an ideal, a norm against which economists could assess different economic systems. It connected the value of individual freedom, the commitment to a market society and an appeal to a liberal democracy. By coining the expression of consumers’ sovereignty, Hutt operated a creative redescription of the Millian idea of individual sovereignty which reflected the rise of the figure of the consumer in the public space. Hutt’s vision had been forged by the teaching he received at the London School of Economics and his involvement in the Individualist movement in the 1920s.
Keywords: consumers' sovereignty, consumer's sovereignty, W. H. Hutt, liberalism, neoliberalism, London School of Economics
JEL Classification: B20, P10, P20, A12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation