Allan George Barnard Fisher
Born26 February 1895
Christchurch, New Zealand
Died8 June 1976
London, England
Scientific career

Allan George Barnard Fisher (26 Oct 1895 in Christchurch, New Zealand – 8 January 1976 in London, England) was a New Zealand-born economist.

Perhaps his most notable contribution was to investigate economic development in terms of the sequential dominance of different sectors of the economy: the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors (three-sector theory).[1][2] Later moving to Palestine and spending 5 months on the Jaffa-Jerusalem road with the Australian 5th Camel Corps Field Ambulance. On his return to the University of Melbourne in 1919 he became a lecturer in the philosophy department. He gave a talk on "Palestine and Jerusalem", copies of which are in the University of Melbourne Library and the British Library.

Fisher on a camel in Palestine during army service with the Australian Army in the first world war

In 1924 he gained his PhD from the London School of Economics. The notes he made on lectures attended are in the LSE archives. He returned to Australia in 1925 and was Professor of Economics at the University of Otago from 1925 to 1935.

In 1930 and 1931 Allan was awarded a Rockefeller Fellowship, which enabled him to travel and study in China, Russia, Poland, Geneva, England and the United States.

During 1936–1937, Allan was Professor of Economics at the University of Western Australia in Perth. In 1938 the family moved to England, when Allan accepting the Price Research Professorship at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, familiarly known as Chatham House, in London and became Professor of International Economics in London. This involved trips to Scandinavia and the Balkans, and in 1939, the family moved to Oxford. Lectures given by AGB Fisher are included in a special online archive issue from Chatham house.

1934 Alan became chief editor, Economist, Bank of New South Wales. During the War, he paid two visits to the United States, to an F.A.O. preparatory commission and 1944 was Counsellor at the New Zealand Legation in Washington D.C. He also attended the Bretton Woods Conference as well as the 1946 Paris Peace Conference, before taking up his job later that year, on the staff of the International Monetary Fund. Allan retired in 1960 and lived in England for the remainder of his life.

Selected publications


  1. ^ Endres, Anthony M. "‘Structural’economic thought in New Zealand: The inter‐war contribution of AGB Fisher∗." New Zealand Economic Papers 22.1 (1988): 35–49.
  2. ^ Hogan, W. 2002, 'A.G.B. Fisher: Trans-Tasman Economist', History of Economic Thought Society of Australia Conference in History of Economic Thought Society of Australia Conference.
  3. ^ "Allan George Barnard Fisher".