The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

McCulloch, John Ramsay (1789–1864)

  • D. P. O’Brien
Reference work entry


MuCulloch was born in Galloway, Scotland on 1 March 1789. After attending Edinburgh University he secured employment as a lawyer’s clerk. In 1816 he began his contributions to economics with two essays on the national debt. He was editor of The Scotsman, 1817–21, and a contributor to that paper until 1827. In 1818 he began writing for the Edinburgh Review and continued doing so until 1837, contributing nearly 80 articles. He also contributed to Encyclopaedia Britannica and was a prolific author, his works including editions of the Wealth of Nations, a Commercial Dictionary, a Geographical Dictionary, Principles of Political Economy, a Statistical Account of the British Empire and a Treatise on Taxation. He was a noted bibliophile, and after his death his library was purchased by his friend Lord Overstone and ultimately presented to Reading University.


Absolute advantage Cobweb Combination laws Commodity money Convertibility Corn laws Cost of production Inflation Invariable measure Labour supply Labour theory of value McCulloch, J. R. Poor law Population theory Public finance Relative value Rent Transfer problem Trade unions Wages fund 

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  1. O’Brien, D.P. 1970. J.R. McCulloch: A study in classical economics. London: Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. P. O’Brien
    • 1
  1. 1.