# Roy G.D. Allen

Roy G.D. Allen |
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Roy George Douglas Allen was born on 3 June 1906 at Stoke-on-Trent (Staffordshire, England) and died on 29 September 1983 at Southwold (Suffolk, England); a British economist, mathematician, and statistician. In his works he described **issues of the theory of value, consumer behavior and usability**^{[1]}. He collaborated with other famous economists like John Richard Hicks and A.L. Bowley. Allen was a member of the International Statistical Institute.

## Education/Work

He attend the Royal Grammar School Worcester. Then he won a scholarship to Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. He studied at the University of Cambridge. Allen cooperated with the London School of Economics (LSE). At first, he was an assistant, then a lecturer there. In 1944 he became a professor of statistics. Finally, in 1973 he became an emeritus professor^{[2]}. He also was a treasurer of the British Academy.

## Publicationsons (selection)

Allen gained notoriety in 1934 by publication in the magazine "Economica" in which he described the origin of the demand function, utility maximization and the substitution effect ("Slutsky Equation"), Thus launching the revival of neoclassical economics. He wrote many papers and books which mixed issues of mathematics and economics domain. In his book 1938 he passed mathematical knowledge for future generations, describing several innovative concepts, such as: partial elasticity of substitution^{[3]}.

**Major works of Roy G.D. Allen**:

- "The Concept of the Arc Elasticity of Demand", 1934, RES
- Mathematical Analysis for Economists, 1938
- Statistics for Economists, 1949, Hutchinson University
- Mathematical Economics, 1966, Macmillan
- Macroeconomic Theory, 1967
- "On Official Statistics and Official Statisticians", 1970, J of Royal Statistical Society
- Macro-economic Theory: A Mathematical Treatment, 1975, Macmillan
- Introduction to National Accounts Statistics, 1980

## Achievements

Roy G.D. Allen is mainly famous for his famous book (1938), which set down the mathematical down for the next generation, introduced several novel concepts, such as the "partial elasticity of substitution". He cooperated with very famous economist Hicks John Richard. „Hicks and Allen defining the elasticity of substitution as the reciprocal of the degree to which the substitutability of two factors, that is the marginal rate of substitution, varies as the ratio of the two inputs varies and output is held constant.”^{[4]}. In one of their many confusing changes of definitions and nomenclature, Hicks and Allen renamed this “elasticity of complementarity” as the “partial elasticity of substitution”. Roy G.D. Allen proposed a different measure. „The Allen elasticity of substitution is the traditional measure and has been employed to measure substitution behavior (with utility held constant) and structural instability in a variety of contexts.”^{[5]}.

- Roy G.D. Allen was best known for his work on the theory of value and consumer behavior. In particular, his work on the elasticity of demand was highly influential. He was also an important contributor to the development of mathematical economics, having worked with John Richard Hicks to develop a mathematical model of consumer demand.
- Allen wrote several books on economics, including his seminal work Theory of Value (1951), which provided a comprehensive analysis of the theory of value and consumer behavior. He was also the author of numerous articles in professional journals, such as Econometrica, The Economic Journal, and The Review of Economic Studies.
- Allen was a member of the International Statistical Institute, a prestigious organization that promotes the use of statistics in the social sciences. He was also a member of the Committee of Economic Development and a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society. He received numerous honors for his work, including the Order of the British Empire in 1965.

## Advantages of Roy G.D. Allen approach

Roy G.D. Allen was a British economist, mathematician, and statistician known for his works related to the theory of value, consumer behavior, and usability. He had many advantages in his field of work, including:

- His collaboration with other famous economists such as John Richard Hicks and A.L. Bowley. This collaboration allowed him to gain insight into the various aspects of economics, and to develop theories based on their joint research.
- His membership in the International Statistical Institute, which allowed him access to a network of fellow economists and statisticians from around the world.
- His ability to apply statistical methods to economic problems, making his theories more accurate and reliable.
- His detailed knowledge of economics and its related fields, which allowed him to develop insightful theories about the behavior of consumers and the value of goods.
- His ability to explain complex economic theories in simple terms, making them accessible to non-experts.

## Limitations of Roy G.D. Allen approach

Roy G.D. Allen was a British economist, mathematician, and statistician whose works described issues of the theory of value, consumer behavior and usability. Despite his many accomplishments, there remain some limitations of his work. These include:

- His works did not consider the long-term implications of consumer behavior and value theory. His focus was on short-term economic trends and the current market.
- Allen was limited by the data and technology available to him. His work is not as comprehensive as it could be with the current data and technology available.
- His theories were not always applicable to the real world. In some cases, his theoretical models could not be effectively applied to real-world situations.
- Allen's works did not consider the social and cultural implications of consumer behavior and value theory. He focused on economic implications, but did not consider the impact of consumer decisions on society and culture.

## Footnotes

## References

- Bruni L., Montesano A., (2009).
*New Essays on Pareto’s Economic Theory*, Routledge - Gulledge T.R., (2013).
*Cost Analysis Applications of Economics and Operations Research*, Springer-Verlag - Hicks J.R., Allen R.G.D., (1934).
*A reconsideration of the theory of value*, Part I. Economica, 1(1) - Klonschinski A., (2016).
*The Economics of Resource Allocation in Health Care*, "Cost-utility, social value, and fairness", Routledge - Slottje D., (2009).
*Quantifying Consumer Preferences*, Emerald - Stone J. R. N., (2008).
*Allen, Roy George Douglas (1906–1983)*, "The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics", Palgrave Macmillan - Stern D., (2008).
*Elasticities of Substitution and Complementarity*, MPRA *Roy G.D. Allen*, (2019)

**Author:** Natalia Zajko