David Ricardo, one of the major figures in the history of economic thought, particularly in the English classical political economy, deployed his activities as economist just two hundreds of years ago. Since then his economics has been generally estimated as the culminating point of the classical economics, and his name and theory has been exerting an enduring influence up to the present. This book, consisting of articles contributed by historians economic thought on money and finance, intends to reappraise the Ricardo’s monetary and financial thought on the occasion of its bicentenary and to offer historical clues to understanding today’s world wide financial crisis.
The book consists of eight chapters divided into three parts. The first part is devoted to the historical back ground of Ricardo’s thought (Hume, Smith, Thornton etc). It serves to bring in relief the originality of Ricardo’s thought in the historical context. The second and central part consists of four chapters discussing the most important aspects of Ricardo’s monetary thought: Ricardo and quantity theory of money, the ideal monetary regime conceived by Ricardo very early in his career and matured till the last moment of his life, plan for the establishment of a national bank. In this part, the relation between the quantity of money and its value in Ricardo’s theory is examined in a new light and Ricardo as a non-quantity theorist. The two chapters in the third and last part discuss the problems raised after Ricardo in relation to his monetary thought.
Tracing Ricardo's economic thought to the early 19th century, this book may provide readers insight to help them understand the present day financial crises through his works.
Another notable-quotable passage concerns socialism: If, therefore, the choice were to be made between Communism with all its chances, and the present  state of society with all its sufferings and injustices; if the institution of private property necessarily carried with it as a consequence, that the produce of labour should be apportioned as we now see it, almost in an inverse ratio to the labour--the largest portions to those who have never worked at all, the next largest to those whose work is almost nominal, and so in a descending scale, the remuneration dwindling as the work grows harder and more disagreeable, until the most fatiguing and exhausting bodily labour cannot count with certainty on being able to earn even the necessaries of life; if this or Communism were the alternative, all the difficulties, great or small, of Communism would be but as dust in the balance. Looks like JSM is on the wrong side of history again, but he also noted: But to make the comparison applicable, we must compare Communism at its best, with the régime of individual property, not as it is, but as it might be made. Fair enough. There are many other notable-quotable sections of Mills book.
Mills book is about the earliest work on comparative economic systems that I know of. The inclusion of Mills chapters on socialism add much to this edition. Given that he was writing in the shadow of Malthus, he does take a rather pessimistic tone at times. Yet his discussion of the stationary state are interesting. On page 129 Mill discusses how the stationary state does not impose insurmountable obstacles to human improvement. It is also interesting to note the degree to which his arguments for limited government involvement in the economy fits with modern economic theory.
Mill was one of the greatest social theorists of all times. Yet he (and Marx) failed to see the importance of marginal concepts in economics. Mill was, however, a much better social theorist than Marx. Mill was able to arrive at some sound conclusions without modern price theory. This book also reveals Mills abilities as a social philosopher. This is a rare example of a book that it vitally important despite being fundamentally wrong. It is important not merely for historical reasons. PPE makes you think more deeply about economics, politics, and philosophy. Few thinkers have been as thought provoking as Mill, and likely few will match his level of acumen in the future.
Michael Heilperin was a friend and colleague of Ludwig von Mises's in Geneva, and his specialization was the international monetary system. He applied the Austrian theory of the business cycle along with his knowledge of the balance of payments to warn against the rise of monetary nationalism. He wrote against the monetarist idea of floating fiat currencies and in favor of an international gold standard, and said that the debate was really between monetary chaos and international monetary stability. This 1939 work remains a definitive study of the author's times and our own.
Lionel Robbins's now famous lectures on the history of economic thought comprise one of the greatest accounts since World War II of the evolution of economic ideas. This volume represents the first time those lectures have been published.
Lord Robbins (1898-1984) was a remarkably accomplished thinker, writer, and public figure. He made important contributions to economic theory, methodology, and policy analysis, directed the economic section of Winston Churchill's War Cabinet, and served as chairman of the Financial Times. As a historian of economic ideas, he ranks with Joseph Schumpeter and Jacob Viner as one of the foremost scholars of the century. These lectures, delivered at the London School of Economics between 1979 and 1981 and tape-recorded by Robbins's grandson, display his mastery of the intellectual history of economics, his infectious enthusiasm for the subject, and his eloquence and incisive wit. They cover a broad chronological range, beginning with Plato, Aristotle, and Aquinas, focusing extensively on Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus and the classicals, and finishing with a discussion of moderns and marginalists from Marx to Alfred Marshall. Robbins takes a varied and inclusive approach to intellectual history. As he says in his first lecture: "I shall go my own sweet way--sometimes talk about doctrine, sometimes talk about persons, sometimes talk about periods." The lectures are united by Robbins's conviction that it is impossible to understand adequately contemporary institutions and social sciences without understanding the ideas behind their development.
Authoritative yet accessible, combining the immediacy of the spoken word with Robbins's exceptional talent for clear, well-organized exposition, this volume will be welcomed by anyone interested in the intellectual origins of the modern world.
David Ricardo (1772 – 1823) was a hugely influential British political economist and stock trader. This volume, first published in 1923, contains five important pamphlets published by him, edited and with an overarching introductory essay by E. C. K. Gonner. Each essay relates either to monetary and financial subjects - including the high price of Bullion, monetary theory and the position of the Bank of England - or to the agricultural conditions of Britain and proposed solutions to the problems discussed. This is a fascinating and detailed work, which will be of great value to those with an interest in Ricardo’s theories and British economic history.
The work of the following economists is covered: Locke, Barbon, Vaderlint, Harris, Hume, Smith, Ricardo, Malthus, Bosanquet, Mill, Torrens, Marshall, Haberler, Austin, Stirling, Chevalier, Carines, Jevons, Leslie, Goschen, Bagehot, Wicksell, Sidgwick, Pigou, Viner, Heckscher, Ohlin, Keynes, Taussig, and Pareto.
The volume includes an extensive Bibliography of each period discussed as well as comprehensive indices of subjects and names.