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Senior, Nassau William (1790–1864)

Educated at Oxford University, Senior was called to the Bar in 1819 and became a Master in Chancery in 1836. In 1825 he was appointed the first Drummond Professor of Political Economy at Oxford. He held this position twice, the first time until 1830 and the second from 1847 to 1852. He served on many Royal Commissions. His major work on economics was an Outline of the Science of Political Economy, which appeared in 1836. He is remembered mainly for his abstinence theory of interest. Interest was a reward for abstaining from the unproductive use of savings. The creation of new capita! involved a sacrifice. A positive return must therefore be expected to make the sacrifice worthwhile. Senior can be regarded as orre of the first pure theorists in economics. He attempted to elaborate economic theory on the basis of deductions from elementary propositions.

Reference: The Penguin Dictionary of Economics, 3rd edt.