Condliffe Memorial Lecture - Economics - University of Canterbury - New Zealand
John Bell CondliffeThe Commerce of Nations

About John Bell Condliffe

John Bell Condliffe was born in Melbourne in 1891 and came to New Zealand at the age of thirteen. He took his M.A. with First Class Honours in Economics at Canterbury University College, worked for a time in the Customs Department and the Government Statistician's Office and was appointed Lecturer in Economics at Canterbury University College in 1916. He enlisted the same year, went to France and after the armistice was a research student at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge where he was awarded the Sir Thomas Gresham Studentship. During his absence on military service his position was filled by Sir Douglas Copland, who rose to distinction as Professor of Economics at Melbourne University.

Condliffe became the first Professor of Economics at Canterbury University College in 1921, succeeding Sir James Hight who held the Chair of History and Economics until the Chairs were separated in September 1919. In 1927 he resigned the Chair to become the first Research Secretary of the Institute of Pacific Relations in Honolulu. In 1931 he joined the secretariat of the League of Nations and wrote the first six issues of the League's World Economic Survey. After two years as Professor of Commerce in the London School of Economics he became professor of Economics at the University of California from 1940-1958. On his retirement he served for two years as Adviser to the National Council of Applied Economic Research in New Delhi and then joined the Stanford Research Institute until 1970.

He wrote several books on New Zealand, the most important being New Zealand in the Making (1930), The Welfare State in New Zealand (1960), and te Rangi Hiroa: The Life of Sir Peter Buck (1972). In 1939 he was awarded the Howland Prize by Yale University, and in 1960 the American Political Science Association awarded him the Wendell L. Wilkie Prize for The Commerce of Nations. Condliffe returned to Christchurch in 1973 to participate in the centennial celebrations. As an Erskine Visiting Fellow he delivered four lectures at the University of Canterbury which were to be subsequently published under the title Defunct Economists (1974).

Reviews of Condliffe's main texts, provided via JSTOR:

John Bell Condliffe
1891-1981