chapter  3
Keynes, Marshall and Cambridge economics in 1905
Pages 28

Alfred Marshall pursued the goal of social reform by means of a scientific research project, accompanied by a battle for academic reform that was functional to it. In 'A Plea for the Creation of a Curriculum in Economics and Associated Branches of Political Science', Marshall argued that Cambridge should not offer 'technical studies', and that the training of the higher ranks of business and the Civil Service should become the main focus of specialization in economics at Cambridge. Marshall's economics, and later Cambridge economics in the transition from Marshall to Maynard Keynes, moved much more decisively in the direction of adapting analytical tools to historical circumstances than towards refinement of pure theory. In conclusion, if some fundamental difference did indeed exist between Oxford new Liberals and Cambridge Marshallian economics, this was less in practical politics and more in Marshall's choice of scientific research instead of political activism as the high road to the ultimate goal of social amelioration.