Mill’s Essays on Economics and Society

  • Lord Robbins


The papers collected in this volume have a twofold value. They provide important insights into the evolution of the views of their author on economic and social problems; and, since they come from one of the world’s outstanding economists and social philosophers, they still possess great intrinsic interest. John Stuart Mill’s Principles of Political Economy is one of the great synthetic works of Classical economics; anything which throws light on its propositions and their development is therefore of considerable historical importance. The views of the author of On Liberty on any aspect of social and economic policy have still great significance at this stage of human history.


Political Economy Classical Economic Note Issue Social Philosophy Currency School 
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  1. 1.
    See a letter to Professor Rau (20 Mar 1852), reprinted in Hugh S. R. Elliot, (ed.), The Letters of John Stuart Mill (London: Longmans, Green, 1910) i 168–70.Google Scholar
  2. 1.
    F. Y. Edgeworth, Papers Relating to Political Economy (London: Macmillan, 1925) ii 22–3.Google Scholar
  3. 1.
    Gary S. Becker and William Baumol, ‘The Classical Monetary Theory: The Outcome of the Discussion’, Economica, xix (Nov 1952) 355–76.Google Scholar
  4. 1.
    Letter to Walter Coulson (22 Nov 1850), in Elliot (ed.), Letters of John Stuart Mill, i 157. This was not one of Mill’s more urbane utterances; presumably some of Harriet’s tittle-tattle about Mrs Taylor and himself had come to his ears: ‘Mr Kingsley’s notions must be little less vague about my political economy than about my socialism when he couples my name with that of a mere tyro like Harriet Martineau.’Google Scholar
  5. 2.
    See P. Sraffa (ed.), The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, iv (Cambridge University Press, 1951) 325–56.Google Scholar
  6. 4.
    For a thorough discussion of Blake’s pamphlet and the controversy arising therefrom, see B. A. Corry’s invaluable Money, Saving and Investment in English Economics, 1800–1850 (London: Macmillan, 1962) pp. 162–8.Google Scholar
  7. 1.
    Thomas Tooke, Thoughts and Details on the High and Low Prices of the Last Thirty Years (London: Murray, 1823).Google Scholar
  8. 1.
    F. W. Taussig, Wages and Capital (New York: Appleton, 1899), chaps xi and xii.Google Scholar
  9. 2.
    Autobiography, pp. 161–4; Francis E. Mineka (ed.), The Earlier Letters of John Stuart Mill, 1812–1848, in Collected Works (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1963; London: Routledge & Kegan Paul) PP. 88–9.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Lord Robbins 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lord Robbins
    • 1
  1. 1.London School of EconomicsUK

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