Richard Jones (economist)

Last updated

Richard Jones
Richard Jones00.jpg
Richard Jones
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England
Died20 January 1855
Hertford Heath, England
Field Political Economy
School or
English historical school

Richard Jones (1790 – 20 January 1855) [1] was an English economist who criticised the theoretical views of David Ricardo and T. R. Malthus on economic rent and population.



The son of a solicitor, Jones was intended for the legal profession, and was educated at Caius College, Cambridge. [2] Owing to ill-health, he abandoned the idea of the law and took orders soon after leaving Cambridge. For several years he held curacies in Sussex and Kent.

In 1833 Jones was appointed professor of political economy at King's College London, resigning this post in 1835 to succeed T. R. Malthus in the chair of political economy and history at the East India College at Haileybury.

Along with Charles Babbage, Adolphe Quetelet, William Whewell and Thomas Malthus, Jones was instrumental in founding the Statistical Society of London (later "Royal Statistical Society") in 1834. This was an outgrowth of the Statistical Section of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. [3]

Jones took an active part in the Tithe Commutation Act 1836 and was a tithe commissioner to 1851.[ citation needed ] He was for some time, also, a charity commissioner. He died at Haileybury, shortly after he had resigned his professorship.


In 1831 Jones published his Essay on the Distribution of Wealth and on the Sources of Taxation, his major work. In it he showed himself a critic of the Ricardian system.

Jones's method was inductive; his conclusions are based on the real world with the different forms which the ownership and cultivation of land, and, in general, the conditions of production and distribution, assume at different times and places. He resisted taking the exceptional British state of affairs as representing the uniform type of human societies, and admitted path dependence in economics. While respecting Malthus, he declined to accept that an increase of the means of subsistence is necessarily followed by an increase of population. He maintained that with the growth of population, in all well-governed and prosperous states, the command over food, instead of diminishing, increases.

Major publications

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">David Ricardo</span> British economist and politician (1772–1823)

David Ricardo was a British political economist. He was one of the most influential of the classical economists along with Thomas Malthus, Adam Smith and James Mill. Ricardo was also a politician, and a member of the Parliament of Great Britain and Ireland.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thomas Robert Malthus</span> British political economist (1766–1834)

Thomas Robert Malthus was an English economist, cleric, and scholar influential in the fields of political economy and demography.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">William Whewell</span> 19th-century English scientist and theologian

William Whewell was an English polymath, scientist, Anglican priest, philosopher, theologian, and historian of science. He was Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. In his time as a student there, he achieved distinction in both poetry and mathematics.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Richard Whately</span> English academic, philosopher, and theologian

Richard Whately was an English academic, rhetorician, logician, philosopher, economist, and theologian who also served as a reforming Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin. He was a leading Broad Churchman, a prolific and combative author over a wide range of topics, a flamboyant character, and one of the first reviewers to recognise the talents of Jane Austen.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">East India Company College</span> Former college in Hailey, Hertfordshire, England

The East India Company College, or East India College, was an educational establishment situated at Hailey, Hertfordshire, nineteen miles north of London, founded in 1806 to train "writers" (administrators) for the Honourable East India Company (HEIC). It provided general and vocational education for young gentlemen of sixteen to eighteen years old, who were nominated by the Company's directors to writerships in its overseas civil service. The college's counterpart for the training of officers for the company's Presidency armies was Addiscombe Military Seminary, Surrey.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nassau William Senior</span> English lawyer (1790–1864)

Nassau William Senior, was an English lawyer known as an economist. He was also a government adviser over several decades on economic and social policy on which he wrote extensively.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Ramsay McCulloch</span> Scottish economist, author and editor (1789–1864)

John Ramsay McCulloch was a Scottish economist, author and editor, widely regarded as the leader of the Ricardian school of economists after the death of David Ricardo in 1823. He was appointed the first professor of political economy at University College London in 1828. He wrote extensively on economic policy, and was a pioneer in the collection, statistical analysis and publication of economic data.

Gregory King was an English genealogist, engraver and statistician.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">William Thompson (philosopher)</span>

William Thompson was an Irish political and philosophical writer and social reformer, developing from utilitarianism into an early critic of capitalist exploitation whose ideas influenced the cooperative, trade union and Chartist movements as well as Karl Marx.

<i>An Essay on the Principle of Population</i> Treatise by Thomas Malthus

The book An Essay on the Principle of Population was first published anonymously in 1798, but the author was soon identified as Thomas Robert Malthus. The book warned of future difficulties, on an interpretation of the population increasing in geometric progression while food production increased in an arithmetic progression, which would leave a difference resulting in the want of food and famine, unless birth rates decreased.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Robert Torrens (economist)</span> English economist

Robert Torrens was a Royal Marines officer, political economist, part-owner of the influential Globe newspaper, and a prolific writer. He also chaired the board of the London-based South Australian Colonisation Commission created by the South Australia Act 1834 to oversee the new colony of South Australia, before the colony went bankrupt and he was sacked in 1841. He was chiefly known for championing the cause for emigration to the new colony, and his name lives on in Adelaide's main river, the Torrens, the suburb of Torrensville and a few other places.

The Political Economy Club is the world's oldest economics association founded by James Mill and a circle of friends in 1821 in London, for the purpose of coming to an agreement on the fundamental principles of political economy. David Ricardo, James Mill, Thomas Malthus, and Robert Torrens were among the original luminaries.

William Henry Ridley was a priest in the Church of England and an author.

Robert Acklom Ingram (1763–1809) was an English mathematician, clergyman and political economist.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">George Ensor</span>

George Ensor J.P. was an eminent Irish lawyer and radical political pamphleteer. Among other conservative precepts, he pilloried the Malthusian doctrine that poverty is sustained by the “disposition to breed". As a hindrance to enterprise and prosperity, he pointed rather to the tyranny of concentrated wealth. In Ireland, it was condition he believed could be reversed only through popular representation in a restored parliament. Ensor further outraged prevailing opinion by inveighing against the constitutional ascendancy not merely of Protestantism, but more broadly of the Christian religion. He argued that questions of morality and social justice cannot be addressed within a theology of salvation through faith.

Jonathan Duncan Inverarity was a Scottish civil servant of the Bombay Presidency.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">James Stephen (civil servant)</span>

Sir James Stephen was the British Undersecretary of State for the Colonies from 1836 to 1847. He made an important contribution to the Slavery Abolition Act 1833.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Andrew Amos (lawyer)</span> British lawyer and professor

Andrew Amos was a British lawyer and professor of law.

Duncan K. Foley is an American economist. He is the Leo Model Professor of Economics at the New School for Social Research and an External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute. Previously, he was Associate Professor of Economics at MIT and Stanford, and Professor of Economics at Columbia University. He has held visiting professorships at Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, UC Berkeley, and Dartmouth College, as well as the New School for Social Research.

John Cazenove (1788–1879) was an English businessman and political economist.


  1. William Whewell, "Prefatory Note", Literary remains, consisting of lectures and tracts on political economy of the late Rev. Richard Jones, ed. William Whewell, London: John Murray, 1859, p. xl.
  2. "Jones, Richard (JNS812R)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  3. Denis Patrick O'Brien, The classical economists revisited, Princeton University Press (2004) ISBN   0-691-11939-2