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Over-Population and its Remedy; or, An Enquiry into the extent and Causes of the Distress Prevailing Among the Labouring Classes of the british Islands, and into the Means of Remedying it
London: Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans, 1846., 1846. First Edition. Large 8vo.; pp. 446 + 32 of publisher's catalogue dated October 1845. Publisher's embossed brown cloth with gilt titles to spine; yellow end papers. Cloth water stained in specks. Neat owner's name. A remarkably sound and internally clean first printing of this rare and important book. William T. Thornton, English economist, was born at Burnham, Buckinghamshire, on the 14th of February 1813. In 1836 he obtained a clerkship in the London house of the East India Company. In 1858 he became secretary for public works in the India office, a post which he held till his death. He was created a C.B. in 1873. His works include Over-population and its Remedy (1846), in which he put forward a plan for colonizing Irish wastes by Irish peasants; A Plea for Peasant Proprietors (1848), in which his views were developed in greater detail; On Labour (1869); and Old-fashioned Ethics and Commonsense Metaphysics, a volume of essays, published in 1873. The writings of William Thornton are central to the history of the laws of supply and demand and seminal in understanding the rise of neoclassical economics. Until recently, William Thornton has been cast by historians as a minor player in John Stuart Mill's recantation of the wages fund doctrine... Indeed, Thornton was a close personal friend of and associate of Mill's for many years, However, it would be wrong to suggest that Thornton can only be seen as a lesser Mill, backing up the latter's philosophies and with no coherent influence of his own. From 1847 until his death in 1880, Thornton was an active member of the Political Economy Club. This was a monthly conclave of individual scholars and business people founded by David Ricardo and sustained by his followers to address the major issues affecting the new science of political economy. Modern economists looking for precursors in historical texts will find interesting material. One recent example is T Negishi's invocation of Thornton as a pioneer of disequilibrium theory. Others include experimental economists studying the importance of different market institutions on price determination, scholars concerned with the problem of path dependence as well as some Austrian economists interested in Thornton's ideas about competition. In fact Thornton played a greater part in the history of economic thought. His first edition of On Labour was a blistering critique of the laws of supply and demand and served to mobilise the major players in the burgeoning neo-classical movement - Jevons, Edgeworth, Jenkin and Marshall - to reply with mathematical responses to the debate.
      [Bookseller: Adrian Harrington Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2015-07-07           Check availability:      IOBABooks    

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