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MALTHUS, Thomas Robert.

Principles of Political Economy.

Edited by John Pullen.

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989 Stock Code: 146546
£125.00
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Variorum edition, with extensive critical apparatus identifying the differences between the first and second editions (1820 and 1836) and Malthus's unpublished manuscript notes.

The book was conceived as a series of tracts rather than a comprehensive and systematic treatise, though Malthus published it to establish his own position against that of Ricardo, with whom he had been having an ongoing debate about the nature of labour, demand and profit. "In his 'Principles of Political Economy', Malthus was proposing investment in public work and private luxury as a means of increasing effective demand, and hence as a palliative to economic distress. The nation, he thought, must balance the power to produce and the will to consume" (DSB). "The Principles had only a limited impact at the time, and was severely criticized by J. R. McCulloch and Ricardo; the latter prepared extensive critical notes. But more recently it has received greater recognition, largely as a result of the comments by J. M. Keynes in the 1930s. Keynes argued that Malthus's theory of effective demand provided a scientific explanation of unemployment, and that the hundred-year domination of Ricardo over Malthus had been a disaster for the progress of economics. Keynes believed that if economics had followed Malthus instead of being constrained by Ricardo in an artificial groove, the world would be a much wiser and richer place" (ODNB).

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Description

2 volumes, octavo. Original brown cloth, spines and front covers lettered and ruled in gilt with green cloth labels, green endpapers. With the dust jackets.

Condition

A fine set in the fine dust jackets.

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