William Forster Lloyd
Bradenham, Buckinghamshire, England
|Died||2 June 1852|
Prestwood, Missenden, Buckinghamshire, England
|Alma mater||Christ Church, Oxford|
William Forster Lloyd FRS (1794 – 2 June 1852) was a British writer on economics. He is best known today for one of his 1833 lectures on population control which have influenced writers in modern economic theory.
Born in 1794 at Bradenham, Buckinghamshire, he was the fourth son of Thomas Lloyd, rector of Aston-sub-Edge, and his wife, Elizabeth Ryder; Charles Lloyd was his elder brother.He was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford, graduating BA in 1815 and MA in 1818. He was Greek Reader in 1823, Mathematical lecturer and Drummond Professor of Political Economy (1832–1837) at Christ Church, Oxford (successor to Nassau Senior). He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1834, and died at Prestwood, Missenden, Buckinghamshire in 1852.
Lloyd published several of his lectures. In his Two Lectures on the Checks to Population (1833) he introduced the concept of the overuse of a common by its commoners (i.e. those with rights of use and access to it), which was later to be developed by the economist H. Scott Gordon and later still by the ecologist Garrett Hardin and termed by Hardin "The Tragedy of the Commons". However, Hardin's use of Lloyd's example has frequently been misunderstood, leading him to later remark that he should have titled his work "The Tragedy of the Unmanaged Commons".
The key passage in Lloyd's work is:
"If a person puts more cattle into his own field, the amount of the subsistence which they consume is all deducted from that which was at the command, of his original stock ; and if, before,there was no more than a sufficiency of pasture, he reaps no benefit from the additional cattle,what is gained in one way being lost in another. But if he puts more cattle on a common, the food which they consume forms a deduction which is shared between all the cattle, as well that of others as his own, in proportion to their number, and only a small part of it is taken from his own cattle. In an inclosed pasture, there is a point of saturation, if I may so call it, (by which, I mean a barrier depending on considerations of interest,) beyond which no prudent man will add to his stock. In a common, also, there is in like manner a point of saturation. But the position of the point in the two cases is obviously different. Were a number of adjoining pastures, already fully stocked, to be at once thrown open, and converted into one vast common, the position of the point of saturation would immediately be changed".
In his Lectures on Population, Value, Poor Laws and Rent (1837) he introduced a concise and complete statement of the concept of diminishing marginal utility, and connected demand to value, but he presents neither derivation nor elaboration. Still this contribution places him clearly in the ranks of the Oxford-Dublin school of proto-Marginalists.
Overgrazing occurs when plants are exposed to intensive grazing for extended periods of time, or without sufficient recovery periods. It can be caused by either livestock in poorly managed agricultural applications, game reserves, or nature reserves. It can also be caused by immobile, travel restricted populations of native or non-native wild animals. However, "overgrazing" is a controversial concept, based on equilibrium system theory. A strong indicator of overgrazing is where additional feed needs to be brought in from outside the farm, often to support livestock through the winter. Traditionally this feed was sourced on the farm, with fewer animals being kept and some fields being used for hay and silage production. Modern farm businesses often choose to keep more animals than their land can support alone, buying in external feed to offset this.
The tragedy of the commons is a situation in a shared-resource system where individual users, acting independently according to their own self-interest, behave contrary to the common good of all users by depleting or spoiling the shared resource through their collective action. The theory originated in an essay written in 1833 by the British economist William Forster Lloyd, who used a hypothetical example of the effects of unregulated grazing on common land in Great Britain and Ireland. The concept became widely known as the "tragedy of the commons" over a century later due to an article written by American biologist and philosopher Garrett Hardin in 1968. In this modern economic context, "commons" is taken to mean any shared and unregulated resource such as atmosphere, oceans, rivers, fish stocks, roads and highways, or even an office refrigerator.
The open-field system was the prevalent agricultural system in much of Europe during the Middle Ages and lasted into the 20th century in parts of western Europe, Russia, Iran, and Turkey. Under the open-field system, each manor or village had two or three large fields, usually several hundred acres each, which were divided into many narrow strips of land. The strips or selions were cultivated by individuals or peasant families, often called tenants or serfs. The holdings of a manor also included woodland and pasture areas for common usage and fields belonging to the lord of the manor and the church. The farmers customarily lived in individual houses in a nucleated village with a much larger manor house and church nearby. The open-field system necessitated co-operation among the inhabitants of the manor.
Rev Dr William Whewell DD HFRSE 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.
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.
Pastoralism is a form of animal husbandry, historically by nomadic people who moved with their herds. The species involved include various herding livestock, including cattle, camels, goats, yaks, llamas, reindeer, horses and sheep.
John A. Baden is founder and chairman of the Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment (FREE) based in Bozeman, Montana.
Richard Jones was an English economist who criticised the theoretical views of David Ricardo and T. R. Malthus on economic rent and population.
Garrett James Hardin was an American ecologist who warned of the dangers of human overpopulation. He is most famous for his exposition of the tragedy of the commons, in a 1968 paper of the same title in Science, which called attention to "the damage that innocent actions by individuals can inflict on the environment". He is also known for Hardin's First Law of Human Ecology: "We can never do merely one thing. Any intrusion into nature has numerous effects, many of which are unpredictable." He is listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a white nationalist, whose publications were "frank in their racism and quasi-fascist ethnonationalism".
The commons is the cultural and natural resources accessible to all members of a society, including natural materials such as air, water, and a habitable earth. These resources are held in common, not owned privately. Commons can also be understood as natural resources that groups of people manage for individual and collective benefit. Characteristically, this involves a variety of informal norms and values employed for a governance mechanism. Commons can be also defined as a social practice of governing a resource not by state or market but by a community of users that self-governs the resource through institutions that it creates.
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 at a geometrical ratio while an increase in food production was limited to an arithmetic ratio, which would leave a difference resulting in the want of food and famine, unless birth rates decreased.
In economics, a beggar-thy-neighbour policy is an economic policy through which one country attempts to remedy its economic problems by means that tend to worsen the economic problems of other countries.
Lifeboat ethics is a metaphor for resource distribution proposed by the ecologist Garrett Hardin in 1974.
The Commonize Costs–Privatize Profits Game is a concept developed by the ecologist Garrett Hardin to describe a "game" widely played in matters of resource allocation. The concept is Hardin's interpretation of the closely related phenomenon known as the tragedy of the commons, and is referred to in political discourse as "privatizing profits and socializing losses."
Average and total utilitarianism are variants of utilitarianism that seek to maximize the average or total amount of utility; following Henry Sidgwick's question, "Is it total or average happiness that we seek to make a maximum?"
Overexploitation, also called overharvesting, refers to harvesting a renewable resource to the point of diminishing returns. Continued overexploitation can lead to the destruction of the resource. The term applies to natural resources such as: wild medicinal plants, grazing pastures, game animals, fish stocks, forests, and water aquifers.
Edward Burton was an English theologian, Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford.
Henry Forster Burder, D.D. (1783–1864) was an English nonconformist minister.
Sir George Kettilby Rickards was a political economist in England.
H. Scott Gordon (1924-2019) was a Canadian economist born in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His seminal 1954 article Economic Theory of a Common Property Resource: The Fishery marked the beginning of the modern economics study of fisheries. He spent most of his career teaching and writing in the history and philosophy of economics, including the books Welfare, Justice, and Freedom (1980), The History and Philosophy of Social Science (1991), and Controlling the State: Constitutionalism from Ancient Athens to Today (2002).