“A PIONEERING ATTEMPT TO TEST THE MARGINAL PRODUCTIVITY OF WAGES”: SCARCE FIRST EDITION OF LAWS OF WAGES, 1911, FIRST BOOK BY HENRY L. MOORE, FOUNDER OF STATISTICAL ECONOMICS
MOORE, Henry Ludwell. Laws of Wages. An Essay in Statistical Economics. New York: Macmillan, 1911. Octavo, original burgundy cloth. $800.
First edition of the first book by Moore—“truly a pioneer… devoted his major research efforts to the construction of a statistical complement of pure economics”—scarce in original cloth.
Henry Moore coined the phrase “statistical economics” and “was its founder” (Stigler, Econometrica 30:1:1). “A student of Menger’s in Vienna and an early disciple of Leon Walras, Moore can be rightly considered the only American (and perhaps the only English-speaking) member of the original Lausanne School. Moore’s life-long work was one of the first serious empirical examinations of Marginalist Revolution in general, and Walras’ system in particular. Moore dedicated himself to the statistical derivation of demand curves… He also delved deeply into discovering the connection between commodity business cycles and equilibrium theory— thereby performing one of the earliest empirical examinations of the business cycle in a general equilibrium theory context” (New School). Moore “devoted his major research efforts to the construction of a statistical complement of pure economics” (Cox, American Statistician 16:2:10). Moore’s first book, Laws of Wages, dedicated to John Bates Clark, “was a pioneering attempt to test the marginal productivity of wages… The book also contained a first attempt to measure the influence of unions on the outcome of strikes” (Blaug, Great Economists Before Keynes, 172). Here Moore “sets forth two major areas of inquiry… (1) the law and cause of the variation in the share of the product of industry constituting general wages and (2) the law and cause of the distribution of general wages” among the labor group (Cox, 10). Containing many full-page graphs and charts. With three rear leaves of publisher’s ads. As issued without dust jacket. New Palgrave III, 548. See Roll, 389-402. Owner inscription likely that of financier Howard Finney, Jr., a “general partner in the Wall Street brokerage firm of Bear, Stearns & Company… In 1935 he became the first head of the municipal bond department at another Wall Street firm, C. J. Devine & Company” and in 1942 headed the new municipal bond department at Bear, Stearns (New York Times). Owner inkstamp of Anghel N. Rugina, Professor of Economics at Northeastern University.
A fine copy.