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The Economics of Thomas Robert Malthus [Hardcover]

Samuel Hollander


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Book Description

May 31 1997 0802007902 978-0802007902

Samuel Hollander provides the first in-depth study of Malthus's achievement as an economist. Malthus's message has been largely misrepresented by decades of careless and biased interpretation. In this volume, Samuel Hollander re-examines these interpretations and presents a full and coherent picture of Malthus's economics. He evaluates John Maynard Keynes's famous dichotomy between the Ricardian and Malthusian methods, proving that the two were far closer to each other than is generally supposed. The relation of Malthus's ideas to those of his predecessors is thoroughly examined, for example, his roots in the Wealth of Nations are demonstrated and the physiocratic and Sraffian dimensions of his work are brought to light. Hollander extends his analysis to biographical factors; he discounts the textbook perspective on Malthus as a social-welfare pessimist and dispels the common notion of Malthus as spokesman of the land-owning classes. The standard charges against Malthus of inconsistency and intellectual dishonesty are also challenged.

Samuel Hollander has produced the definitive study of Thomas Robert Malthus. A major contribution to the history of economic theory, the study has much broader appeal as a portrait of a central figure in early nineteenth-century debates over social policy -particularly those having to do with the role of government in relation to social welfare, economic growth, and trade protection.


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Review

'In addition to reading the original works, there is hardly a better route to a full and subtle understanding of Malthus than Hollander's exposition.' --William Petersin (Population and Development Review)

'Formidable in its mastery of detail and always taking stock of Malthus' contribution, the book takes its place alongside Hollander's previous works as an indispensable source for understanding classical political economy.' -- John B. Davis (Journal of Economic Literature)

About the Author

Samuel Hollander is University Professor in Economics, University of Toronto, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.


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