Professor Martin Chick (Ph.D, M.A.)

Professor of Economic History



Useful Links

Research in a Nutshell video

Undergraduate teaching

Time, Economics and the Allocation of Resources in Britain 1930-1970

Research summary


  • Britain & Ireland


  • Economic History


  • Twentieth Century & After

Research interests

For a long time my main research interests concerned the interaction between U.K governments and , often, nationalised industries.  Within this broad area I wrote about such topics as economic planning, utility pricing, investment in the iron and steel industry, and the economic history of nationalisation, privatisation and regulation. Part of these interests were reflected in my book on post-war eceonomic planning and indutrial policy, 1945-51.

Since the end of the 20th century, I have become increasingly interested in the development of economic thought. I wrote a study of  electricity and energy policy in Britain, France and the United States since 1945, and the main purpose of that book was to explore the comparative development of marginalist approaches to pricing and investment.  After finishing that book, I began to explore the philosophical underpinnings of the economic use of such concepts as utilitarianism, ownership, normativity and  choice. These preoccupations informed my subsequent book  on the political economy of Britain since 1951.

Current research activities

I am currently researching the  definintion, assertion and allocation of property rights on, in and under the sea  since 1945. The main areas of research concern: the Deep SeaBed; the Continental Shelf; the Exclusive Economic Zone; the distribution of fishing licences; and the approaches to the protection of sea species and areas. 

Research projects

Watch a short video of Professor Chick speaking about his research interests - Media Hopper

The list below is a subset of the information held on the University of Edinburgh PURE system, and includes Books, Chapters, Articles and Conference contributions. For a full list, including details of other publication types (e.g. reviews), please see the Edinburgh Research Explorer page for Professor Martin Chick.

Books - Authored

Chick, M. (2019) Changing Times: Economics, Policies, and Resource Allocation in Britain since 1951. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Chick, M. (2007) Electricity And Energy Policy in Britain, France and The United States since 1945. Edward Elgar

Chick, M. (1998) Industrial Policy in Britain, 1945-51: Economic Planning, Nationalisation and the Labour Governments. Cambridge University Press

Books - Edited

Chick, M. (ed.) (1990) Governments, Industries and Markets: Aspects of Government-Industry Relations in the UK, Japan, West Germany and the USA since 1945. Edward Elgar Publishing


Chick, M. (2019) Incentives, inequality and taxation: The Meade Committee Report on the Structure and Reform of Direct Taxation (1978). Business History, 61(7), pp. 1222-1235DOI:

Chick, M. (2017) Industrial policy in Britain since 1970: Changing values, assumptions and mechanisms. Jahrbuch fuer Wirtschaftsgeschichte , 58(1), pp. 35-57DOI:

Chick, M. (2015) The changing role of space and time in British environmental policy since 1945. Revue Francaise D'Histoire Economique, 3(1), pp. 72-88DOI:

Chick, M. (2011) The 3 Rs: Regulation, risk and responsibility in British utilities since 1945. Business History, 53(5), pp. 747-760DOI:

Chick, M. (2009) Time, water and capital: The unintended contribution of the North of Scotland Hydo-Electric Board to the application of welfare economics in Britain, 1943-1967. Scottish Business and Industrial History, 25, pp. 29-55

Chick, M. (2007) Ownership, markets and the scope for introducing competition into the electricity supply industry. Révue Economique, 58 (1), pp. 277-293

Chick, M. (2006) The marginalist approach and the making of fuel policy in France and Britain 1945 - 72. The Economic History Review, 59 (1), pp. 143- 167DOI:

Chick, M. (2004) Clin d'oeil; Take the S out of State. Enterprises et Histoire, 37, pp. 182-184

Chick, M. (2004) Listing potential candidates for nationalisation: Britain, 1948. Enterprises et Histoire, 37, pp. 167-171

Chick, M. (2004) The international experience of nationalization and denationalizations. Enterprises et Histoire, 37, pp. 006-008

Chick, M. (2002) Le Tarif Vert Retrouve: The marginal cost concept and the pricing of electrcity in Britain and France, 1945-1970. The Energy Journal, 23(1), pp. 97-116

Chick, M. (1999) Reconstruction, modernisation et production dans une economie planifiee: le Royaume-Uni, 1945-1951. Histoire, économie et société, 18, pp. 303-24

Chick, M. (1987) Privatisation:the triumph of past practice over current requirements. Business History, 29 (4), pp. 104-116


Chick, M. (2019) Discounting time. In: Hoppit , J., Needham , D. and Leonard , A. (eds.) Money and Markets.Woodbridge: Economic History Society and The Boydell Press, pp. 251-262

Chick, M. (2018) Countershock or Aftershock? North Sea Oil and Economics as Politics in the UK, 1973-1986. In: Basosi, D., Garavini, G. and Trentin, M. (eds.) Counter-Shock: The Oil Counter-Revolution of the 1980s. London; New York: I.B. Tauris

Chick, M. (2017) The state, public finance and the changing response to investing in the future: The case of the United Kingdom since the 1970s. In: Buggeln, M., Daunton, M. and Nützenadel, A. (eds.) The Political Economy of Public Finance: Taxation, State Spending and Debt since the 1970s. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 199-220DOI:

Chick, M. (2014) The state and industrial policy in Britain, 1950-1974. In: Grabas, C. and Nützenadel, A. (eds.) Industrial Policy in Europe after 1945: Wealth, Power and Economic Development in the Cold War. Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 48-66

Chick, M. (2011) Property rights, economic rents, BNOC and North Sea Oil. In: Amatori, F., Toninelli, P. and Millward, R. (eds.) Reappraising State-Owned Enterprise: A comparison of the UK and Italy. New York: Routledge, pp. 145-163

Chick, M. (2011) The risks, costs and benefits of importing oil: Fuel import policy in Britain, France and the United States since 1945. In:  Oil-Producing Countires and Oil Companies. Brussels: PIE-Peter Lang, pp. 65-83

Chick, M. (2010) Network Utilities: Technological Development, Market Structure, and Forms of Ownership. In: Coen, D., Grant, W. and Wilson, G. (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Business and Government. Oxford University Press, pp. 684-702

Chick, M. (2010) Oil, National Security and Fuel Policy in France and the United Kingdom, 1945-1972. In: Beltran, A. (ed.) Oil Companies and the International Oil Market. PIE-Peter Lang, pp. 181-196

Chick, M. (2009) De la macro a la micro: l`economie, les economistes et les questions relatives a la politique energetique en Grande-Bretagne, en France et aux etats-unis depuis 1945. In: Kharaba, I., Dalmasso, A., Mioche, P., Raulin, P. and Woronoff, D. (eds.) Politiques industrielles d`hier et d`aujourd`hui en France et en Europe. Dijon: Universitaires de Dijon, pp. 73-86

Chick, M. (2009) Privatisation déréglementation et liberalization du secteur de la distribution d' électricité en Grande-Bretagne, en France et aux États-Unis. In: Beltran, A., Bouneau, C., Bouvier, Y., Varaschin, D. and Williot, J. (eds.) Etat et énergie. Paris: Comite pour l'histoire economique et financiere de la France, pp. 473-486

Chick, M. (2006) La sécurité nationale à quel prix? Considérations sur la politique énergétique et la sécurité nationale en France, en Grande-Bretagne et aux États-Unis pendant et aprés la Seconde Guerre mondiale. In: Chick, M., Beltran, A. and Varaschin, H. (eds.) Les entreprises du secteur de l'énergie sous l'Occupation. CNRS, Artois Presses Université, pp. 235-248

Chick, M. (2006) Nationalisation. In: McCusker, J. (ed.) Encyclopaedia of World Trade since 1450. New York: New York: Macmillan Reference USA

Chick, M. (2004) Lord Piercy. In: Matthew, C. (ed.) New Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press

Chick, M. (2004) The Power of Networks: Defining the Boundaries of the Natural Monopoly Network and the Implications for the Restructuring of Electricity Supply Industries. In:  Annales historiques de l'électricité. Victoires-editions, pp. 30-56

Chick, M. (2003) Privatisation. In: Rowett, J. (ed.) Oxford Dictionary of Politics. Oxford University Press, pp. 533-4

Chick, M. (2003) Productivité, tarification et investissements dans les industries électriques nationalisées en France et en Grande Bretagne, 1945-1973. In:  Annales historiques de l'électricité. Editions Victoires, pp. 71-102

Chick, M. (2001) What economic history means to me. In: Hudson, P. (ed.) Living Economic and Social History. EHS, pp. 38-41

Chick, M. (2000) Le charbon, la securite et la politique energetique dans l'Europe des annees 1950 et 1960: la perspective britannique. In: R Girault, R. (ed.) Le role des ministeres des finances et des ministeres de l'economie dans la construction europeenne, 1957-1978. CHEFF, Presses Universitaires des France

Chick, M. (2000) Les logiques industrielles et economiques de l'industrie electrique au Royaume -Uni entre 1895 et 1945. In: Coeure, S. (ed.) Strategies, gestion, management: les companies electriques et leurs patrons, 1895-1945.Pressess Universitaires de France

Chick, M. (1996) Political economy, economies of scale and the nationalisation of the electricity industry in Britain. In: Badel, L. (ed.) La nationalisation de l'electricite en France: Necessite technique ou logique politique. Presses Universitaires de France, pp. 485-95

Chick, M. (1995) The political economy of nationalisation: The electricity industry. In: Millward, R. and Singleton, J. (eds.) The political economy of nationalisation in Britain 1920-1950. Cambridge University Press, pp. 257-274DOI:

Chick, M. (1994) Nationalisation, privatisation and regulation. In: Rose, M. (ed.) Business Enterprise in Modern Britain.Routledge, pp. 315-338

Chick, M. (1993) Nationalisation and the background to recent regulatory issues. In: Sugden, R. (ed.) Industrial Economic Regulation. Routledge, pp. 63-84

Chick, M. (1992) Private industrial investment. In: Mercer, H., Rollings, N. and Tomlinson, J. (eds.) Labour Governments and Private Industry. Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 74-90

Chick, M. (1991) Competition, competitiveness and nationalisation, 1945-1951. In: G Jones, M. (ed.) Competitiveness and the State. Manchester University Press, pp. 60-77