The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Senior, Nassau William (1790–1864)

  • N. De Marchi
Reference work entry


Early 19th-century English political economists divided on method. Some, Senior among them, favoured Smith’s approach: observe behaviour and try to tie it to likely motives. Others, such as Ricardo and the Mills, preferred to build models based on strong assumptions, then qualify the conclusions while still insisting on their basic truth. On policy questions, and on the basic motives behind economic behaviour, they often agreed, but Smith’s approach allowed for more than one answer to questions such as: what is value? Much ink was spilt and much muddle resulted, clarification (on value) being achieved only with Jevons and Marshall.


Abstinence Balance of trade Cairnes, J. E. Distribution Efficient allocation Jones, R. Labour’s share of income Love of ease Marginal productivity theory Marx, K. H. Mercantilism Microfoundations Mill, J. S. Myopia Paper money Political Economy Club Poor Law Profit Rent Ricardo, D. Say, J.-B. Science of political economy Senior, N. W. Smith, A. Value Wages fund Whewell, W. 

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. De Marchi
    • 1
  1. 1.