Jevons William Stanley

Jevons William Stanley

Jevons, William Stanley (1835-82), English economist. He was educated at London University and after a period in Australia he became Professor of Political Economy, first at Manchester and then at London. Jevons was interested in many aspects of economics. Besides being a critic of the classical economists he was also an applied economist, as shown by his Investigations in Currency and Finance (1884), which contained several papers all linking statistical investigation and theoretical analysis. But his importance lies mainly in his work in pure theory. His Theory of Political Economy (1871) brought together scattered fragments of earlier utility analysis into a comprehensive theory of value, exchange and distribution. He aimed at providing a mathematical exposition of the laws of the market and the theory of value. It was in this work that he formulated and developed the concept of 'marginal utility'.

Jobber, a member of the London Stock Exchange. The Exchange has a unique system in which brokers do not deal direct with one another but buy and sell securities through jobbers. A jobber usually specializes in classes of shares, and is not allowed to deal direct with the public.

A Stock Exchange bargain is carried out as follows: an investor asks his broker to buy securities; the broker asks the jobber for a quotation, without disclosing whether he is a buyer or seller; the jobber quotes two prices, the lower of which is the price at which he will buy, the higher the price at which he will sell. The broker usually repeats the process with other jobbers. If called upon to deliver the securities, the jobber must do so.

Jobbers do not charge commission, but make their profit by buying more cheaply than they sell. The margin between the upper and lower quotations is known as the jobber's turn.

Without the jobbing system transactions could take place only wherever selling brokers could find buying brokers with opposite orders, i.e. it would require a form of barter. The existence of jobbers prepared to buy or sell at any time enlarges the freedom with which dealings can take place.

Joint Demand, the relationship between two or more commodities or services such that increases in the demand for one result in increases in the demand for the other(s). Examples are bacon and eggs, tea and sugar, records and record players. A fall in the cost of production and the price of one commodity will stimulate the demand for itself and therefore lead to an increased demand for the related goods and tend to drive up their prices if available supplies are unchanged. Thus the market prices of commodities in joint demand tend to move in opposite directions.

The existence of a joint demand for the products of a manufacturer or seller means he is not concerned simply with matching cost of and revenue from additional batches of each product. An additional batch of, say, bacon, may be profitable even if the additional cost exceeds the additional sales revenue, provided additional profit from the sale of eggs (because of increased demand) more than outweighs the loss on additional bacon. Again, razors may be sold at a loss in order to stimulate the sales of razor blades. The economics of joint demand suggest that advertising may be regarded as a joint commodity in which information is supplied free to consumers. The information is sometimes supplied at a small charge, as in an illustrated catalogue.

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Since then his writings have in turn been increasingly reinterpreted as a special case both by some followers and by some economists who had not wholly accepted his writings. The content of economics is in a state of change, and this site is therefore not a final statement of economic doctrine.

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