Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




The sum of Harry Gunnison Brown's contributions as an economist has been neglected in general by later generations of American economists. His persistent advocacy of land value taxation in the tradition of Henry George lent notoriety to his long career in the discipline. As he was the foremost spokesman for this reform among academic economists, his work in a wide variety of topics in economic thought has been overlooked. He was an early student of Irving Fisher who adopted Fisher's monetarist approach while differing with him on several points;In capital and interest rate theory, Brown emphasized a direct role of productivity in interest rate determination, a view he encouraged Fisher to adopt. Brown's work in monetary economics explored monetary disequilibrium phenomena, found monetary mismanagement to be the major cause of the Great Depression and rejected the ascendancy of Keynesian economics. He extended the analysis of the incidence of sales, capital and labor taxation. In the economics of regulation of railroads and public utilities, his was the best argument made for the use of reproduction cost in pricing decisions. In his work on international trade, he was an uncompromising free trade advocate. He defended land value taxation against its detractors and sought to make clear its potential benefits, both economic and ethical;Brown wrote over ten books and one hundred articles. Almost all of the topics he chose to examine are of continuing interest. In addition to his writing, he was an outstanding educator for over fifty years. This study examines not only Brown's writings, but the influences on his thought and the legacy of his teachings.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Christopher Keith Ryan



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

233 pages