Marshall Jevons 101: Successful Economist and Author
Zatrun Published at November 02, 2023

In this article titled “Marshall Jevons 101: Who is Marshall Jevons, a Successful Economist and Author?”, we will delve into everything you need to know about Marshall Jevons a renowned economist and author that our readers at are curious about.

Who is Marshall Jevons?

Marshall Jevons is a fictional crime novel author created by William L. Breit and Kenneth G. Elzinga, who are both economics professors at Trinity and the University of Virginia. Breit and Elzinga decided to write novels that involve crime investigations using economic theories and used the pseudonym Marshall Jevons to maintain their anonymity.

Marshall Jevons

They published three books: Murder at the Margin (1978), The Fatal Equilibrium (1985), and A Deadly Indifference (1995), all of which narrate the adventures of the Harvard economist-detective Henry Spearman. After writing Murder at the Margin, Elzinga created a fictional biography for Jevons, inspired by Alfred Marshall and William Stanley Jevons. However, when the book garnered significant attention, the authors were exposed, and MIT Press encouraged them to write the other two books. As a result, The Fatal Equilibrium (1985) and A Deadly Indifference (1995) were published.

Marshall Jevons and his Development

In 1978, two economists began writing crime novels, which were published by Thomas Horton and Daughters without revealing their real identities on the book cover. Elzinga created a fictional biography for Jevons, which read:

“M. Jevons is the president of UtilMax, Inc., an international consulting firm based in New York City. He is a former Rhodes Scholar with advanced degrees in economics, biochemistry, and oceanography. Jevons is also an Olympic medalist in skiing and is now involved in space mechanics and cocoa bean markets. Although he was born in Virginia, he prefers the Queen Elizabeth 2 as his home. This is Jevons’ first novel.”

However, in later editions, Breit and Elzinga’s authorship began to be recognized. Murder at the Margin began to be used as supplementary reading in many advanced economics courses. Commercially, the book was also a success and MIT Press offered the authors to write another Henry Spearman Mystery. In 1985, The Fatal Equilibrium became the first crime novel to be published by a university press. Its publication the following year led M. Jevons to say, “There is little more satisfying pleasure than seeing your own paperback on a book rack at an airport newsstand.” The name Marshall Jevons was created by combining the surnames of two 19th-century English economists, Alfred Marshall and William Stanley Jevons.

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