Hobson, John Atkinson, 1858–1940, English economist and journalist. He achieved wide popularity as a lecturer and writer. Criticizing classical economics, which centered on man's mechanical response to inflexible economic laws, he held that economic theory was bound up with the ethical problems of social welfare and should be a guide to reform. The economic measures he supported prefigured the more fully developed ideas of John Maynard Keynes. Hobson advocated partial socialization, and in Imperialism (1902) he interpreted imperialism as a product of the economic excesses of capitalism. His other works include The Evolution of Modern Capitalism (1894), The Economics of Distribution (1900), The Economics of Unemployment (1922), and the autobiographical Confessions of an Economic Heretic (1938).
See H. N. Brailsford, The Life-Work of J. A. Hobson (1948).