Principles of Political Economy / Edition 1

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More About This Textbook


The standard economics textbook for more than a generation, John Stuart Mill’s Principles of Political Economy (1848) was really as much a synthesis of his predecessors’ ideas as it was an original economic treatise. Heavily influenced by the work of David Ricardo, and also taking ideas from Adam Smith and Thomas Malthus, Mill systematically demonstrated how important economic concepts could be applied to real-world situations. In his emphasis on realism, Mill thus took economics out of the realm of the abstract and placed it squarely within the context of society.
For instance, he made a convincing case that wages, rent, and profit are not necessarily the expression of immutable laws that are independent of society. Rather, they are in actuality the results of social institutions and as such can be changed if the members of a society move to break traditional institutional habits. Reflecting his utilitarian social philosophy, Mill suggested that social improvements are always possible. He thus proposed modifying a purely laissez faire system, advocating trade protectionism and regulation of employees’ work hours for the benefit of domestic industries and workers’ well-being. In such features he displayed a leaning toward socialism.
In summing up his objective for this massive work, Mill said later in his Autobiography (1873) that he wished "to unite the greatest individual liberty of action, with a common ownership in the raw material of the globe, and an equal participation of all in the benefits of combined labour." For anyone with an interest in the history of economics or the history of ideas, this landmark work of classical economics makes for stimulating and in many respects still very relevant reading.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591021513
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 10/25/2004
  • Series: Great Minds Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 710
  • Sales rank: 785,175
  • Product dimensions: 5.41 (w) x 8.32 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Special Introduction
Mill's Preface
Preliminary Remarks
Bk. I Production
Ch. I Of the Requisites of Production
Ch. II Of Labor as an Agent of Production
Ch. III Of Unproductive Labor
Ch. IV Of Capital
Ch. V Fundamental Propositions respecting Capital
Ch. VI On Circulating and Fixed Capital
Ch. VII On what depends the degree of Productiveness of Productive Agents
Ch. VIII Of Co-operation, or the Combination of Labor
Ch. IX Of Production on a Large, and Production on a Small Scale
Ch. X Of the Law of the Increase of Labor
Ch. XI Of the Law of the Increase of Capital
Ch. XII Of the Law of the Increase of Production from Land
Ch. XIII Consequence of the foregoing Laws
Bk. II Distribution
Ch. I Of Property
Ch. II The same subject continued
Ch. III Of the Classes among whom the Produce is distributed
Ch. IV Of Competition and Custom
Ch. V Of Slavery
Ch. VI Of Peasant Proprietors
Ch. VII Continuation of the same subject
Ch. VIII Of Metayers
Ch. IX Of Cottiers
Ch. X Means of abolishing Cottier Tenancy
Ch. XI Of Wages
Ch. XII Of Popular Remedies for Low Wages
Ch. XIII The Remedies for Low Wages further considered
Ch. XIV Of the Differences of Wages in different Employments
Ch. XV Of Profits
Ch. XVI Of Rent
Bk. III Exchange
Ch. I Of Value
Ch. II Of Demand and Supply, in their relation to Value
Ch. III Of Cost of Production, in its relation to Value
Ch. IV Ultimate Analysis of Cost of Production
Ch. V Of Rent, in its Relation to Value
Ch. VI Summary of the Theory of Value
Ch. VII Of Money
Ch. VIII Of the Value of Money, as dependent on Demand and Supply
Ch. IX Of the Value of Money, as dependent on Cost of Production
Ch. X Of a Double Standard, and Subsidiary Coins
Ch. XI Of Credit, as a Substitute for Money
Ch. XII Influence of Credit on Prices
Ch. XIII Of an Inconvertible Paper Currency
Ch. XIV Of Excess of Supply
Ch. XV Of a Measure of Value
Ch. XVI Of some Peculiar Cases of Value
Ch. XVII Of International Trade
Ch. XVIII Of International Values
Ch. XIX Of money, considered as an Imported Commodity
Ch. XX Of the Foreign Exchanges
Ch. XXI Of the Distribution of the Precious Metals through the Commercial World
Ch. XXII Influence of the Currency on the Exchanges and on Foreign Trade
Ch. XXIII Of the Rate of Interest
Ch. XXIV Of the Regulation of a Convertible Currency
Ch. XXV Of the Competition of different Countries in the Same Market
Ch. XXVI Of Distribution, as affected by Exchange
Bk. IV Influence of the Progress of Society on Production and Distribution
Ch. I General Characteristics of a Progressive State of Wealth
Ch. II Influence of the Progress of Industry and Population on Values and Prices
Ch. III Influence of the Progress of Industry and Population on Rents, Profits, and Wages
Ch. IV Of the Tendency of Profits to a Minimum
Ch. V Consequences of the Tendency of Profits to a Minimum
Ch. VI Of the Stationary State
Ch. VII On the Probable Futurity of the Laboring Classes
Bk. V On the Influence of Government
Ch. I Of the Functions of Government in general
Ch. II On the General Principles of Taxation
Ch. III Of Direct Taxes
Ch. IV Of Taxes on Commodities
Ch. V Of some other Taxes
Ch. VI Comparison between Direct and Indirect Taxation
Ch. VII Of a National Debt
Ch. VIII Of the Ordinary Functions of Government, considered as to their Economical Effects
Ch. IX The same subject continued
Ch. X Of Interferences of Government grounded on Erroneous Theories
Ch. XI Of the Grounds and Limits of the Laisser-faire or Non-interference Principle
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