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David Champernowne

Summary:
No book-length biography of D. G. Champernowne exists, as far as I can see. Even his Wikipedia page is quite terse. Yet he advised and participated in important twentieth-century intellectual developments. From Hodges biography of Alan Turing, I learned that 'Champ' was a friend of his. Champernowne did early work in programming chess-playing algorithms, along with Turing and Claude Shannon. Game-playing is one of those disappointing applications of Artifical Intelligence. What seems to work best, like ChatGPT, uses lots of processing power, while ignoring what experts in the subject matter say. Anyways, Champernowne was in on the invention of the computer. Champernowne (1953-1954) published an appreciation and explanation of the English translation of von Neumann's article on

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No book-length biography of D. G. Champernowne exists, as far as I can see. Even his Wikipedia page is quite terse. Yet he advised and participated in important twentieth-century intellectual developments.

From Hodges biography of Alan Turing, I learned that 'Champ' was a friend of his. Champernowne did early work in programming chess-playing algorithms, along with Turing and Claude Shannon. Game-playing is one of those disappointing applications of Artifical Intelligence. What seems to work best, like ChatGPT, uses lots of processing power, while ignoring what experts in the subject matter say. Anyways, Champernowne was in on the invention of the computer.

Champernowne (1953-1954) published an appreciation and explanation of the English translation of von Neumann's article on economic 'equilibrium'. This was in the same journal issue. Von Neumann's model is classical in inspiration. No agents are maximizing utility. The composition of capital goods is found as a solution of the model. Champernowne acknowledges conversations with Kaldor and Sraffa. in writing this article.

I had not previously known about Chamernowne's (1952, 1953, 1973, 1988) work on the Pareto distribution, in the context of income distribution. I find the Pareto distribution useful in the context of extreme events.

His commentary on Joan Robinson's article kicking off the Cambridge Capital Controversy (CCC) was published in the same journal issue as Robinson's article. He explicitly notes the possibility of capital-reversing and, if I understand correctly, provides a numerical example. And he develops chain-index measure of capital to enter in an aggregate production function when no such 'perverse' case exists.

Bibliography
  • D. G. Champernowne. 1945-1946. A note on J. v. Neumann's article on 'A model of economic equilibrium'. The Review of Economic Studies 13(1): 10-18.
  • D. G. Champernowne. 1952. The graduation of income distribution. Econometrica 20(4): 591-615.
  • D. G. Champernowne. 1953. A model of income distribution. Economic Journal 63(250): 318-351.
  • D. G. Champernowne. 1953-1954. The production function and the theory of capital: a comment. The Review of Economic Studies 21(2): 112-135.
  • D. G. Champernowne. 1973. The Distribution of Income between Persons.
  • D. G. Champernowne and Frank A. Cowell. 1998. Economic Inequality and Income Distribution.
  • Andrew Hodges. 2015. Alan Turing: The Enigma, updated edition. Princeton University Press.

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