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Tozer, John Edward on Ricardo

Tozer, John Edward on Ricardo

Tubaro, Paola (2015) Tozer, John Edward on Ricardo. In: Kurz, H. and Salvadori, N., (eds.) The Elgar Companion to David Ricardo. Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, Cheltenham, UK, pp. 566-572. ISBN 978-1848448506

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In 1838, John Edward Tozer (1806 – 70), a Cambridge mathematician, published an article on “Mathematical investigation of the effect of machinery on the wealth of a community in which it is employed, and on the fund for the payment of wages”, in which he set out to address the following problem: “A portion of capital, which either has been or would have been employed in the payment of wages, is used in the construction of machinery; to determine the effect on the wealth of the community, and on the fund for the payment of the labourer”. The question of the effects of machinery on employment was the subject of a hot debate – both theoretical and political – in early nineteenth century England. Most prominently, Ricardo famously argued that “the substitution of machinery for human labour, is often very injurious to the interests of the class of labourers”, and that “the opinion entertained by the labouring class, that the employment of machinery is frequently detrimental to their interests, is not founded on prejudice and error, but is conformable to the correct principles of political economy”. Compensation effects arising from the introduction of machinery, he claimed, would not suffice to offset labour displacement.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: History of economics, David Ricardo, John E. Tozer, Mathematical economics
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Networks and Urban Systems Centre (NUSC) > Centre for Business Network Analysis (CBNA)
Faculty of Business > Department of International Business & Economics
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:33

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