Chapter

From population to political economy

in Malthus

Published in print June 2013 | ISBN: 9780199670413
Published online September 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191778360 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/actrade/9780199670413.003.0005

Series: Very Short Introductions

From population to political economy

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‘From population to political economy’ explains how Malthus was drawn into wider speculations on the wealth of nations. It soon became apparent that the problems of agricultural production were intimately bound up with the other variables that underlay economic growth, notably capital accumulation, the relationship between agriculture, manufacturing, and foreign trade, and the connections between rents, profits, wages, and the prices of goods and services. In moving from population theory to political economy, Malthus moved from the optimal relationship between food and population growth over time to a larger question involving the most desirable course that economic growth and the occupational pattern of the British economy should take.

Keywords: capital accumulation; Samuel Taylor Coleridge; law of diminishing returns; Thomas Robert Malthus; John Ramsay McCulloch; John Stuart Mill; political economy; population; David Ricardo; United States of America; wealth

Chapter.  6706 words. 

Subjects: Intellectual History ; History of Economic Thought ; Political Economy ; Population and Demography

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