Gardiner Means

Gardiner Coit Means (June 8, 1896 in Windham, Connecticut[2] – February 15, 1988 in Vienna, Virginia)[3] was an American economist who worked at Harvard University, where he met lawyer-diplomat Adolf A. Berle. Together they wrote the seminal work of corporate governance, The Modern Corporation and Private Property. During the New Deal, Means served as an economic adviser to Franklin D. Roosevelt and Henry A. Wallace.

Gardiner Coit Means
Born(1896-06-08)June 8, 1896
DiedFebruary 15, 1988(1988-02-15) (aged 91)
School or
Institutional economics
Alma materHarvard University[1]
ContributionsAdministered prices

Academic workEdit

Means followed the institutionalist tradition of economists. In 1934 he coined term "administered prices" to refer to prices set by firms in monopoly positions. In The Corporate Revolution in America (1962) he wrote:

"We now have single corporate enterprises employing hundreds of thousands of workers, having hundreds of thousands of stockholders, using billions of dollars' worth of the instruments of production, serving millions of customers, and controlled by a single management group. These are great collectives of enterprise, and a system composed of them might well be called "collective capitalism."

Means argued that where an economy is fueled by big firms it is the interests of management, not the public, that govern society.


  • The Modern Corporation and Private Property with Adolf A. Berle (1932)
  • "Industrial Prices and their Relative Inflexibility" (1935)
  • Patterns of Resource Use (1938)
  • The Structure of the American Economy (1939)
  • Pricing Power and the Public Interest (1962)
  • The Corporate Revolution in America (1962)
  • "Simultaneous Inflation and Unemployment: Challenge to theory and policy" (1975)
  • The Heterodox Economics of Gardiner C. Means: A Collection. M.E. Sharpe. 1992. ISBN 978-0-87332-717-6.
  • A Monetary Theory of Employment 1994.

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