An Inquiry into the Nature and Origin of Public Wealth, and into the Means and Causes of its Increase.Edinburgh: Arch. Constable and Co., 1804 Stock Code: 146719
First edition. Lauderdale "has been hailed as a forerunner of Keynes, in as much as he argued that over-saving was a distinct possibility and that public spending was required to offset private thrift if stagnation was to be asserted" (Blaug). In the present work Lauderdale questioned Adam Smith's theory of the relationship between labour and value, maintaining that wealth was a compound of labour, land, and capital, and value was a compound of utility and scarcity. He argued that capital was capable of harnessing productive labour to make profits by meeting market demand, and that such profits resulted only when there were no legislative restraints on commerce and no burdens, such as Pitt's sinking fund to redeem the national debt. "Lauderdale's importance in the history of economics lies, not in his conclusions, but in the fact that he was the first in England to consider systematically the fundamental conceptions on which the science is based. In this respect alone he is in advance of Adam Smith" (Palgrave II, p. 574).
Octavo (211 x 128 mm). Contemporary calf, rebacked with black morocco label, recornered.
With folding table at rear.
Bookseller's ticket and later 19th-century bookplate to front pastedown, 20th century ownership signature to front free endpaper. Lacking rear free endpaper, a few pencilled annotations to text, rubbing to extremities with faint ring stain to front cover, light foxing to initial and final leaves. A very good copy.
Einaudi 3628; Goldsmiths' 8801; Kress B.4816; McCulloch, pp. 15-16.
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