Ronald Coase posed the question, Did Alfred Marshall know where he was born? Coase conjectured that Marshall's changing place of birth as reported in the 1881 and 1891 censuses was due to his vagueness in giving information about it to his wife. This article examines the evidence now available from three additional censuses (1851, 1901, and 1911). It confirms that Marshall did know where he was born. And the evidence suggests an alternative (and darker) reason for Marshall's reported places of birth.
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Stephen Littlechild; Alfred Marshall's Reported Birthplace: Evidence from the Censuses. History of Political Economy 1 June 2012; 44 (2): 331–339. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00182702-1571728
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