The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Vanderlint, Jacob (Died 1740)

  • Peter Groenewegen
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-95189-5_1576

Abstract

A timber merchant at Blackfriars, London, about whose life little is known except that in 1734 he published Money Answers All Things, or an Essay to make Money Plentiful among all Ranks of People and increase our Foreign and Domestick Trade. This work appears to have received little attention during the 18th century until Dugald Stewart referred to it as anticipating the Physiocrats on the single tax of land rent and on free trade. Stewart compared him also with David Hume ‘in point of good sense and liberality’ (Stewart 1794, pp. 342, 343, 346). McCulloch used Stewart’s opinions on several occasions (e.g. 1845, p. 162) and may have provided the basis for Marx’s charge (1878, p. 327, cf. 1867, p. 124, n.1) that ‘Hume follows step by step, and often even in his personal idiosyncrasies’ Vanderlint’s work.

A timber merchant at Blackfriars, London, about whose life little is known except that in 1734 he published Money Answers All Things, or an Essay to make Money Plentiful among all Ranks of People and increase our Foreign and Domestick Trade. This work appears to have received little attention during the 18th century until Dugald Stewart referred to it as anticipating the Physiocrats on the single tax of land rent and on free trade. Stewart compared him also with David Hume ‘in point of good sense and liberality’ (Stewart 1794, pp. 342, 343, 346). McCulloch used Stewart’s opinions on several occasions (e.g. 1845, p. 162) and may have provided the basis for Marx’s charge (1878, p. 327, cf. 1867, p. 124, n.1) that ‘Hume follows step by step, and often even in his personal idiosyncrasies’ Vanderlint’s work.

The essay itself presents a complex argument supporting a proposal for alleviating the distress from a diagnosed trade depression (pp. 134–48). This was designed to ensure prosperity for all including the labouring poor to whose plight Vanderlint was most sympathetic (pp. 72–7, 83, 88, 100). As Vanderlint explains in the opening remarks of his preface, reducing labour costs is the best way to stimulate domestic and foreign trade; the problem is how to achieve this end without the reduction in domestic demand following a cut in money wages. Vanderlint’s solution rests on his proposal to extend agriculture by making more labour and land available for cultivation (pp. 117–19, 163–8). Assuming constant returns (pp. 81–2) this policy leads to increased agricultural produce, the starting point for his causal analysis. As Vickers (1960, p. 180) demonstrates, Vanderlint argues that increased agricultural produce lowers the price of wage goods, hence the money wage level, hence cost of production, hence favourably affects the balance of trade by increasing export competitiveness, increasing money supply, which increases demand for output in general and brings about full employment and prosperity. Vanderlint combines real and monetary factors in this analysis as Hume was to do two decades later. Aware of the specie mechanism (see Viner 1937, pp. 83–4), Vanderlint suggests ways of neutralizing monetary effects on the prices of provisions. He also provides interesting reflections on war and peace, marriage, luxury, and more equal distribution of income and taxation. His analysis is enriched by empirical material drawn from contemporary political arithmetick sources.

References

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  2. Marx, K.H. 1878. From the critical history. In Anti-Dühring, ed. F. Engels. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1954.Google Scholar
  3. McCulloch, J.R. 1845. The literature of political economy. London: LSE. Reprint, 1938.Google Scholar
  4. Stewart, D. 1794. Account of the life and writings of Adam Smith, L.L.D. In Adam Smith, Essays on philosophical subjects, ed. W.P.D. Wightman, J.C. Bryce, and I.S. Ross. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980.Google Scholar
  5. Vanderlint, J. 1734. Money answers all things or, an essay to make money sufficiently plentiful. New York: Johnson Reprint Corporation, n.d.Google Scholar
  6. Vickers, D. 1960. Studies in the theory of money 1690–1776. London: Peter Owen.Google Scholar
  7. Viner, J. 1937. Studies in the theory of international trade. New York: Harper & Brothers.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Groenewegen
    • 1
  1. 1.