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THÜNEN, Johann Heinrich von.

Le salaire naturel et son rapport au tax de l'intérêt.

Traduit de l'allemand par Mathieu Wolkoff.

Paris: Libraire de Guillaumin et Cie, Éditeurs, 1857 Stock Code: 147817
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First edition in French of the second volume of von Thünen's magnum opus Der isolirte Staat, originally published in German in 1850, and containing his theory of the natural wage.

Thünen introduces the question of functional income distribution in accordance with the principle of marginal productivity. Grounding the whole analysis in his own empirical estimates of production relations in agriculture, he provided an extraordinarily modern exposition of the marginal productivity theory of distribution.

The first volume of Der isolirte Staat was published in 1826, the second in 1850; the first volume was published in French in 1851. Neither the German or French translations are commonly found together, given the gap in publication dates.

Roscher considers Der isolirte Staat to be one of the most important works written in Germany in the field of exact economics. A neglected genius according to Mark Blaug, Von Thünen's magnum opus, Der isolirte Staat is today recognized as a fundamental and pioneering economic study concerning the location of agriculture. "He was the first to develop an exact definition of marginal productivity in the modern sense (although he did not use the term) and to apply the principle generally in the theory of production and distribution. He was a founder of mathematical economics and of econometrics, combining systematic empirical research with a genius for abstract reasoning and generalization... Von Thünen's book won him considerable recognition during his lifetime. According to Schumacher (1868), Rodbertus credited von Thünen with bringing to economics the rare combination of a most exact method and a human heart, and the British Parliament used von Thünen's calculations of the grain production of the European continent in its deliberations on the corn laws... Alfred Marshall acknowledged a major debt to von Thünen" (IESS).

"If we judge Thünen and Ricardo exclusively by the amount of ability of the purely theoretical kind that went into their work, then, I think, Thünen should be placed above Ricardo or indeed above any economist of the period, with the possible exception of Cournot" (Schumpeter p. 465). For a detailed account of the author see Blaug, Great Economists before Keynes, pp. 246-249.

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Octavo (207 x 129 mm). Contemporary quarter calf, red morocco label, mottled sides, marbled endpapers.


Bookseller's ticket of Eusèbe Senécal to front pastedown; library stamps of the Assemblée Nationale du Québec to initial binder's blank (and their gilt stamp at foot of spine), and of the Universite du Quebec to title page. Complete with half-title and terminal errata leaves. Light abrasion to front cover, contents clean; an excellent copy.


Einaudi 5623; Roscher, p. 879.


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