Grounds of an Opinion on the Policy of Restricting the Importation of Foreign Corn

Thomas Robert MALTHUS

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“ONE OF THE FOUNDERS OF MODERN ECONOMICS”

MALTHUS, Thomas Robert. Grounds of an Opinion on the Policy of Restricting the Importation of Foreign Corn; intended as an Appendix to Observations on the Corn Laws. London: John Murray, 1815. Octavo, disbound; pp. 48. Housed in a custom chemise and clamshell box. $5000.

First edition of this important work, the foundation of Malthus’ theory of the problem of rent.

“One of the founders of modern economics,” Malthus was credited by Keynes with framing the theory “that a lack of effective demand can cause economic crises” (PMM 251). In 1805, Malthus “became professor of history and political economy at the newly founded college of Haileybury… [where] he gave lectures on political economy, which, as he declares, the hearers not only understood, but ‘did not even find dull.’ The lectures led him to consider the problem of rent. The theory at which he arrived is partly indicated in two pamphlets upon the corn laws, published in 1814 and 1815… The doctrine thus formulated has been generally accepted by later economists” (DNB). “A substantial contribution to general economics… The rent theory it propounded… [is] historically significant because it attracted [Malthus’ friend and correspondent David] Ricardo from money into general economics and supplied him with an important building block” for his work of “determining the distribution of national income between landowners, capitalists and workers” (Niehans, 79, 88). Goldsmith 21177. Lowndes, 1459. Kress C6535. Early owner signature on title page.

Minor dampstaining and very light scattered foxing to a few leaves only. Rare.

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