Lectures on Economic Principles - Vol. 1

Lectures on Economic Principles - Vol. 1

Lectures on Economic Principles - Vol. 1

Lectures on Economic Principles - Vol. 1

Excerpt

If I had thought the publishers would agree, I would, I think, have suggested demoting the sober title of this little series to the rank of sub-title, and using as main title the words 'Rightly or Wrongly'. Rightly or wrongly, this is what I told them, -- those young men and women, mostly, though not exclusively, in the second of their three years of economic study, who attended (with varying regularity) my lectures on Economic Principles at Cambridge in the years 1945-6 to 1956-7. And if it was all wrong, it can't be helped now.

The configuration of the academic year dictated the arrangement of the lectures into three groups, two of about sixteen lectures each and one of twelve or thirteen; and that general arrangement has been preserved in this series, the division between chapters sometimes conforming to, but sometimes departing from, the division between lectures, -- truth does not always go nicely into fifty-minute slabs. The present volume deals with introductory matters and with the Theory of Value; its successors will deal respectively with the Theory of Distribution and with Money and the fluctuations of economic activity. All this sounds very old-fashioned, I know: but, for good or evil, that is how it was.

Limitation of time compelled me to confine my treatment to a closed system with no international contacts, and to omit any but the most incidental reference to Public Finance. Even so, there was need for rigorous selection and compression, especially in the short summer term, when the conflict between time available and my own interest in the subject-matter was most acute.

I am most anxious therefore that this gathering together of dead bones should not be mistaken for an attempt to . . .

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