British Classical Economists and Underdevelopment in India

  • William J. Barber


At least since W. Arthur Lewis’s pathbreaking contribution — “Economic Development with Unlimited Supplies of Labour” (1954) — modern students of development economics have required no reminder that economists in the classical tradition were fundamentally concerned with problems of long-term economic growth. The “composite” classical model he then presented drew on their insights to illuminate the dynamics of expansion in the setting of economic dualism.1


Classical Economist East India Company Unlimited Supply Revenue System Differential Rent 
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  1. 1.
    W. Arthur Lewis, “Economic Development with Unlimited Supplies of Labour”, The Manchester School of Economic and Social Studies, 1954.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, ed., Edwin Cannan, London, 1904, vol. 2, p. 180.Google Scholar
  3. 7.
    T. R. Malthus, Principles of Political Economy, London, 1820, p. 156.Google Scholar
  4. 8.
    James Mill, Minutes of Evidence before the Select Committee on the Affairs of the East India Company, 2 August 1831, Parliamentary Papers, 1831, vol. 5, p. 292.Google Scholar
  5. 10.
    J. R. McCulloch, “Revenue and Commerce of India”, Edinburgh Review, March 1827, p. 354.Google Scholar
  6. 12.
    Richard Jones, An Essay on the Distribution of Wealth and on the Sources of Taxation, Cambridge, 1831, p. xxiii.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Gerald M. Meier 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • William J. Barber

There are no affiliations available

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