Principles of Political Economy - 1st American Ed.

Principles of political economy considered with a view to their practical application

Thomas Robert Malthus

Boston: Wells and Lilly, 1821.

First American edition. Bound in marbled boards, spine rebacked in modern leather.  Burgundy Moroccan leather spine label.  Clean, unmarked pages. Marginal browning to pages. Internally very good.

The first English edition was printed by John Murray in 1820, this is the 1st American edition printed in 1821 in Boston.

J.M. Keynes "argued that Malthus's theory of effective demand provided a scientific explanation of unemployment, and that the hundred-year domination of Ricardo over Malthus had been a disaster for the progress of economics. Keynes believed that if economics had followed Malthus ... the world would be a much wiser and richer place" (ODNB). 

The last chapter of the book was devoted to rebutting Say's law, and argued that the economy could stagnate with a lack of "effectual demand". In other words, wages if less than the total costs of production cannot purchase the total output of industry, causing prices to fall; price falls decrease incentives to invest, creating a downward spiral.

Refs for 1st English ed: Goldsmiths 22767; Kress C577.

Early signature of E.W. Paige, Schenectady, NY and his book plate on front paste down.  Eugene W. Paige (1852-1919) served in the New York legislature in the 19th century.

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Tags: Economics, Malthus, Political Economy