Joan Robinson was born in 1903 in Camberley, England. She taught economics at Cambridge from 1931 to 1971, becoming a full professor in 1965. In 1979 she became the first woman to be made an honorary fellow of King's College. Although she never won the Nobel Prize for Economics, economists across the political spectrum thought she deserved that level of recognition. Robinson established her reputation in 1933 with the publication of The Economics of Imperfect Competition (2nd ed. 1969), in which she coined the term 'monopsony', a market situation where there is only one buyer. In addition to teaching Keynesian theory, Robinson wrote several books, study guides, and pamphlets designed to introduce economic theory to the non-specialist. In the early 1940s she began introducing aspects of Marxist economics in books such as An Essay on Marxian Economics (1942; 2nd ed. 1966) and Marx, Marshall, and Keynes (1955). As Robinson aged her left-wing sympathies grew, and ultimately she became an admirer of Mao Zedong's China and Kim Il Sung's North Korea, making several trips to China. She died in 1983.
Not just a great woman economist, Joan Robinson was a brilliant public intellectual - something rarely produced by contemporary British economics. - The Guardian One of the greatest economic theorists of our time-and probably the greatest woman economist ever. - The New York Times