Friday, 1 May 2020

The Long Hard Search for Ebooks in Economics

You may be frustrated, like the Marshall Librarian and team, right now because there are so many textbooks in the shutdown library and we cannot find many of them as ebooks. Rest assured we are working very hard with Ebooks colleagues at the University Library to do what we can.

I thought it might be helpful to explain where we search for available ebooks, so you can see what is available. Please note that some of this access is temporary during the current situation and it may not continue indefinitely.

Here are some tips

Let's start with Cambridge University Press Cambridge Core ebooks

There is certainly one of our textbooks available here in full text: Prof. Oliver Linton's Financial Econometrics

It could also be worth looking through the whole Economics and Econometrics sections and just browsing what is available too. Putting the term "Economics" in the search box brings up over 2000 items, some of which are full ebooks and some of which are book chapters. Cambridge Core also provides Elements, which are longer form articles. You may well find something useful here.

Another useful University Press is Oxford Univesity Press. It is worth searching for their content on Oxford Scholarship Online:
Using the search box on the top right hand side also searches several other University Partner Presses, so you can widen your search beyond OUP. Again it is worth searching for "Economics", "Macroeconomics", "Microeconomics" and "Econometrics" here to see what content they do have available.

Other places that are worth looking through are the EBSCO ebook Academic Collection, which contains (192,000 academic titles) and Proquest Academic Complete which has 180,000 plus titles.
EBSCO (this is a trial)


Please do remember we are happy to source and purchase what you need if it is available so do continue to contact us at or email me ( or Simon Frost directly if you need help with ebooks.

Both of these sites will prompt you to login to Raven to gain access. You can also search by topic as with Oxford Scholarship Online and Cambridge Core above. Proquest also gives you the option to browse by subject.

Thursday, 9 April 2020

Lean Library: Accessing Cambridge E-resources from anywhere!

The Marshall Librarian recommends that you set up the Lean Library browser extension. This is a way of accessing e-resources that are available through Cambridge quickly and efficiently. You don't even need to have your VPN working for this!

Lean Library is a browser extension that delivers an article to you regardless of where you are linking from. It does not matter where you started searching: Google, Google Scholar, Bing, PubMed, JSTOR or iDiscover etc. If you download the browser extension Lean will automatically detect when you are on a website and there is access via a Cambridge University Library subscription. Where Cambridge does not have subscription access Lean Library will automatically redirect you to an Open Access version of the article if it is available.
Download Lean Library from

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Accessing The Economist remotely during the Covid19 Emergency

Since the Library closed I have received a few enquiries from Economists asking about getting into The Economist (full text and graphics version) now we are all off campus. I have tried it myself on my home laptop and I also had problems - now resolved!

Here is my advice:

Follow the link from either the eresources AZ list or the link from the CJBS Information Centre databases page. This is the link you need:

Access is authenticated through our proxy server - unless you go through the link the Economist has no way of knowing who you are. This link is the only way for them to pick up Raven credentials from your computer. So clicking here in a new browser window should prompt you to login via Raven and you should no longer see a request to login half way down the page as you scroll through an article. N.B. Even when logged in this way you will always see subscribe and login buttons at the top but if you can click on an article and read it all the way through you are in.

If you are still having problems open a different browser - it works best in Chrome or Firefox. Try clearing cookies and cache and try again. I have a Mac and I understand many people are accessing it with no problem via Safari. However, in the end, what worked for me was downloading Chrome to my MacBook.

Remember you can always access the text only Proquest access to  The Economist. Just go into iDiscover and login. Search for 'The Economist' and it should be one of the first hits - follow the links through. Unfortunately this subscription will not show images, graphs and graphics.

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Winning Marshall Society #Keynes100 Essay by Joanna Nowinska, Clare College

Can a case be made that Keynes' suggested alterations to the Treaty of Versailles' contents on reparations, iron and coal, are still too harsh on Germany and its economy?

A military confrontation is at heart economic. Tactics can win a battle, but it is a country’s industrial capability – its abundance in natural resources, its manufacturing power, its technological expertise – that ultimately wins a war. Crushing Germany’s economy would ensure that she never waged war again. Yet, faced with this this stark choice, the Allies decided to let the country continue existing; penalties and regulations that were meant to keep her in check were enforced. Keynes’ suggested alterations are a victim of the same miscalculation – any measures that were not directly aimed at rebuilding Germany, and Europe in general, would be met by the defeated country with resentment and resistance. Keynes sought to alleviate the pain, but not to remove the illness altogether.

This is best seen on the provisions relating to industry, which J.M. Keynes saw as more important than financial clauses in the Treaty not least because “the German Empire has been built more truly on coal and iron than on blood and iron". Germany's exploitation of the coal mines of Saar and of the Ruhr had made it the first purely industrial country on the continent. Thus, the future of the Saar – especially in the first decade – would determine Germany’s ability to rebuild its industry.

Neither the Treaty nor Keynes’ alterations provide a feasible solution, bearing in mind the country’s dependence on coal. What Keynes proposes is returning the Saar back to Germany unconditionally and without payment after a period of 10 years, in contrast to the Treaty’s prescription to hold a referendum, after the elapse of 15 years, to determine to whom the region should belong. Meanwhile, the region should become an international zone, with its mines exploited by France (a compensation for the war-time destruction of industry in Northern France by the German army). Yet, it is precisely in this first decade that Germany, deprived of its main natural resources hub, will face economic hardship and even risk perishing, which becomes visible when we analyse the country’s coal supply. 
Before  the war, out of Germany's maximum output of 191,500,000 tonnes of coal annually*, 139,000,000t was consumed locally (excluding the coal used in the mining industry itself). It was secured by the Treaty that the proportion between the amount of coal consumed locally and the total output of Saar Basin would be the same is it was in 1913. Territorial loss, induced by the Treaty and the armistice, would cost Germany 60,800,000t yearly. Subtracting the demand for coal in mining and taking into consideration the reduced efficiency of the damaged industry (e.g. we know that in 1918 the total output was only 161,500,000t), Keynes estimated the post-war amount of coal left for local consumption at 100,000,000t. Further 40,000,000t were demanded from Germany as compensation for the destruction of mines in France, Italy, Belgium and Luxembourg, leaving only 60,000,000t for local consumption. The Treaty-imposed territorial losses diminished the German population by 6,5mln (around one–tenth). The annual demand for coal was thus reduced, but "at the most extravagant estimate this [loss] could not be put above 29,000,000t", decreasing the amount of coal needed for local consumption to 110,000,000t (50,000,000t above the amount determined by the arrangements of the Treaty).

The only alteration that Keynes introduces is renouncing the compensation made to Italy, Belgium and Luxembourg. Germany should provide France with a fixed amount 7,000,000t a year for ten years, supplemented by “an amount of coal equal to the difference between the annual production before the war of the coal mines of the Nord and Pas de Calais, destroyed as a result of the war, and the production of the mines of the same area during the years in question” which was not to exceed 20,000,000t. Thus, if we subtract from Keynes’ estimate of 100,000,000t of coal left for local consumption even a conservative figure of 15,000,000t, we are still below the 110,000,000t demanded annually. The alterations are clearly less harsh, but they still sentence an entire population to massive shortages and resulting discontent.

In 1919, without the mines of Saar Basin and Alsace-Lorraine, the output of coal was already only 50,000,000t. What is more, industry efficiency was largely decreased – in 1920, manufacturing in Germany will reach only 59% of the 1913 level. Had the Treaty been fully implemented, the country would have to divert entirely towards agriculture not to starve its population. However, as Keynes points out, the productivity of soil reduced to 60% and the effective quality of livestock to 45% of the pre-war level. A Germany entirely reliable on agriculture would be destroyed by the measures proposed.

At the Paris Peace Conference, Count Brockdorff-Rantzau presented the Report of the German Economic Commission, contending that Germany has transformed from an agricultural state to an industrial one and "so long as she was an agricultural State, Germany could feed forty million inhabitants. As an industrial State she could insure the means of subsistence for a population of sixtyseven millions (…) to put the Peace conditions into execution would logically involve, therefore, the loss of several millions of persons in Germany". Deindustrialization of Germany would not only lead to her economic decline, but also to mass reduction of her population. It was imperative that the Weimar Republic remained an industrial state and – as shown previously in the coal supply calculations – Keynes’ proposal did not satisfy that requirement.

Similarly, in the second aspect – reparations – Keynes’ proposal is slightly less harsh, but not sufficiently. He suggests that Germany should not be forced to pay more $10 billion and should do so in thirty annual installments, beginning in 1923. Furthermore, if the country cedes all of its war material and equipment as well as all the state property acquired in occupied territories, the sum should be lowered to $7.5bn, without interest.

The Reparation Commision (which the Treaty establishes for the purpose of determining the exact sum) increases Keynes’ nominal figure threefold. The reparations are set at 132 billion marks ($33bn), out of which however 83bn marks were to be allocated in bonds that were likely to never become payable. Thus, the remaining 50bn marks (around $12.5bn) were not an outrageous figure when compared to the $10bn that Western European countries owed to the United States (who during the war had provided especially Britain and France with extensive loans). Furthermore, $12.5bn amounted to only around 160% of Germany’s GDP in 1919.

Overall, the Weimar Republic ended up paying only 20bn marks ($5bn) – half of the figure prescribed by Keynes and 15% of what the Commission required. Throughout the 1920’s and early 1930’s, Germany not only systematically postponed and flouted the payment of reparations, but it worked to convince the Western powers to renounce the reparations altogether. The issue with the reparations was not its exact figure – Keynes’ $10bn, although less harsh, still imposed a considerable and (according to the German society) unjustified burden.

As The Economist has put it “Germany’s [defying of reparations] had less to do with its capacity to pay than its incentives”1. Simply lowering the figures, as Keynes did, was not enough to halt the rising German resentment. The country should have been forced to pay and invest for the sake of European reconstruction, from which she too would benefit. Instead, the Weimar Republic was left with the impression that it had fallen prey to Western imperialist financial exploitation

Winning Marshall Society essay written by Joanna Nowinska, Clare College

* All data in the essay comes from the Treaty itself, The Economic Consequences of the Peace or Wages of Destruction by Adam Tooze.

Thursday, 7 November 2019

International Data from the UK Data Service

This week I attended a UK Data Service International Data User Group meeting in London. It was interesting to be reminded that, alongside many Microeconomics Data sets such as Household Panel data, the UKDS also hosts hundreds of  International economic and data sets from
International Energy Agency (IEA), World Bank, OECD, United Nations (UN), Human Rights Atlas and International Monetary Fund (IMF). Key datasets include World Energy Balances, World Development Indicators, Balance of Payments Statistics, Direction of Trade Statistics, International Financial Statistics, World Economic Outlook, Main Economic Indicators, Quarterly National Accounts, and the Human Rights Atlas. Datasets also cover statistics on science, environment, education, health, and in depth regional statistics.

To get started on their UK.Stat interface and find out how to access international time series data you can watch this video
To access the UKDS.Stat database go to
Once you have called up some data you can alter the time period and subject by clicking within the spreadsheet - click where the red circles indicate to bring up a box where you can amend the data.
Data can be downloaded into Excel format or a .csv file so you can save it for your project or research. You can also visualise the data into charts or maps

Please note that some of the data e.g. IEA - International Energy Agency you would need to register to access. If you click on this section or any subsections of this data you will see this message
Access to this dataset is restricted.

The database you have tried to access is only available for users in UK Higher Education/Further Education institutions.
If you have already signed up, please login
If you click on Login at this point you will be taken to a login page like this
If you type University of Cambridge in or choose it from the list and click continue you will go through to the usual Raven login page - where you can login with your CRSid. From there you will be taken to the IEA Special Licence page where you have to read and agree with their access terms and conditions Once you have agreed you will be able to access the data and alter the time series etc. as shown above.

I usually get asked to go along to User Group meetings once a year, along with the Data Librarian from Oxford and other Library staff from organisations such as SOAS and LSE where using data is important. This resource is currently funded and therefore free at the point of use for us -unlike some other data sets which cost a lot for access. Please make use of the data - it is great to have access to it from a one-stop shop like this. Please do let me know if you have any feedback on accessing the data so that I can feed it into the next User Group meeting. International Labour Organisation (ILO) data will also be added soon.

Friday, 18 October 2019

The Rising Tide: Women at Cambridge - Exhibition Launch 15th October 2019

I was very privileged to be invited to attend the launch of the University Libraries new exhibition:
The Rising Tide: Women at Cambridge, which marks 150 years since the founding of the Cambridge's first women's college. It tells the stories of lives of women at Cambridge and the fight for equal educational rights.
You can read more about the exhibition, curated by Dr. Lucy Delap and Dr. Ben Griffin on the Cambridge University Library website.

I was lucky to be invited to the launch as the Marshall Library has contributed to Rising Tide exhibition by lending our Roger Fry portrait of Mary Paley Marshall 1850-1944, the first librarian, benefactor and founder of the Marshall Library of Economics. I am very proud, as Marshall Librarian, to see Mary hanging in pride of place along with other key portraits of Cambridge women in the University Library main corridor.
Mary Paley Marshall. Courtesy of the Marshall Library, University of Cambridge.

Mary Paley was one of the first women to study the Moral Sciences Tripos at Newnham College, as well as one of the first to take the exam. She was taught by Alfred Marshall, whom she later married. She was also the first woman lecturer in Economics. She could not graduate, of course, and, unfortunately died before women were granted this right at Cambridge in 1948. John Maynard Keynes and Austin Robinson commissioned this portrait by Roger Fry in honour of her work for the Faculty of Economics. She sat for this portrait in Keynes' rooms at Kings. This is actually the second portrait, which was accepted. The first portrait painted by Roger Fry was not a good enough likeness!
It was a great evening with some excellent speeches, Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell gave a very moving speech about her discovery of pulsars, while studying for her PhD at Murray Edwards College (then New Hall) at Cambridge. It was also a wonderful opportunity to meet some amazing Women at Cambridge, past and present. I particularly enjoyed the story behind the "Behave Badly" badge: Lisa Jardine, a renowned historian who studied at Newnham College 1963-73 used to hand out these badges to women friends - those she though would benefit from them. One such badge was worn by Jane Tillier, first laywoman chaplin at Jesus College in 1984 and Jane used to wear it under her robes. The exhibition is on at the University Library until January 2020 and has involved Libraries and Archives from all over Cambridge - I thoroughly recommend visiting it.

Clare Trowell
Marshall Librarian

Thursday, 19 September 2019

Open Cambridge: celebrating Keynes at the Marshall Library by Sue Woods

It is 100 years since the publication of Keynes’ Economic consequences of the peace, and in conjunction with the Faculty of Economics’ centenary conference held earlier in the week at King’s College, the Marshall Library organised displays and a series of blog posts to illustrate the significance of Keynes’ work.
The Marshall Library welcomed a record number of Open Cambridge visitors, including artists, historians, architects, and economists, and it was a delight to see visitors’ first impressions when entering the library.   Hidden behind the stark fa├žade of a brutalist building designed in the early 60’s by Sir Hugh Casson, the Marshall Library is open plan, flooded with natural light, and features a spiral staircase leading to the gallery.
View of the Marshall Library Reading Room showing the spiral staircase, designed by Sir Hugh Casson

The Keynes displays featured first editions of “The economic consequences of the peace”, and Tardieu’s “The truth about the treaty” which sought to justify the Treaty and counter the criticisms levelled at it by Keynes. A letter from Charles Waldstein to Keynes was found within the pages of the Marshall Library's copy of this book in which he declared Tardieu to be '... such a swine' and encouraged Keynes to respond to him. 
In addition, there was a display of Keynes’s correspondence from 1919, including the exchanges between Maynard and his mother when he was on the point of resigning his position as H.M. Treasury adviser at the Paris Peace Conference in Versailles.  His mother shows her concern both for his welfare and his reputation. 
Florence Ada Keynes, Maynard's mother
In the Mary Paley Room, which houses the Marshall Library’s collection of rare books, we showed the original copies of The Economist from December 1919, when both Marshall and Keynes were publishing within a week of each other.  At the age of 77, Marshall published the two-volume “Industry and Trade”, and the following week, there was the announcement of Keynes’s “Economic Consequences of the Peace”, with the first review appearing on 27 December.
It was Alfred Marshall who encouraged Maynard to become an economist, as he was impressed by Maynard’s work.  After graduating with a first class degree, Maynard stayed at King’s for a fourth year and started weekly supervisions with Marshall, although he had not yet decided to become an economist.  Maynard enjoyed the intellectual challenge of studying economics with Marshall, and in turn Marshall considered Keynes’ essay on comparative railway systems ‘a brilliant answer’.  This praise then prompted Keynes to write to Lytton Strachey, “I find economics increasingly satisfactory, and I think I am rather good at it.”
Lytton Strachey and Virginia Woolf

We had anticipated interest in the Keynes exhibition, but it is always intriguing to find out why visitors have specially selected your library to visit as part of Open Cambridge.  It was while visiting the Mary Paley Room that one visitor started enquiring about the basement which had been mentioned earlier in the tour.  He was an artist who specialised in photographing behind the scenes in libraries and museums and he wondered out loud if it would be possible to visit the Marshall Library basement.  No matter how carefully you plan an exhibition, there will always be something else that visitors want to explore.