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Timlin, Mabel (1891–1976)

Mabel Timlin, a professor of economics at the University of Saskatchewan, made major contributions to the fields of economic theory and immigration policy. This Norwegian American was born in Forest Junction, Wisconsin, on December 6, 1891. She taught school in Wisconsin, then in 1916 came to Saskatchewan, teaching in Bounty and Wilkie. In 1918 she moved to Saskatoon, where she attended Business College, and taught night school. During the 1920s and 1930s she studied part time, obtaining degrees in English (BA, 1929) and economics (PhD, University of Washington, 1940).

Her lifelong employment at the University of Saskatchewan began in 1921. She worked as a secretary, part-time reader in economics, and after 1940 as a full-time member of the Department of Economics, from which she retired as Professor Emeritus (1959). She became well known for her work on Keynesian economics, monetary and fiscal controls in Canada, welfare economics, the relations between theory and practice in public policy, and Canada’s immigration policy. Timlin was the first woman social scientist to become a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (1951) and President of the Canadian Political Science Association (1959-60). She received Canada’s Centennial medal (1967), an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Saskatchewan (1969), and the Order of Canada (Member, 1976).

Marianne Gosztonyi Ainley

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Further Reading

Ainley, Marianne Gosztonyi. 1999. “Mabel F. Timlin, 1891–1976: A Woman Economist in the World of Men,” Atlantis: A Women’s Studies Journal 23 (2): 28–38; Neill, Robin. 1991. A History of Canadian Economic Thought. New York: Routledge.
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