The Theory of Economic Policy in English Classical Political Economy

The Theory of Economic Policy in English Classical Political Economy

The Theory of Economic Policy in English Classical Political Economy

The Theory of Economic Policy in English Classical Political Economy

Excerpt

The following pages owe their origin to a short course of lectures on Theories of Economic Policy which I delivered at the London School of Economics in 1939. The main views which they contain were all set forth in the two lectures there devoted to the Classical system. But the limitations of time within which I had to work left me dissatisfied with my treatment and I contemplated a further development before publication.

Then came the war with nearly six years' suspension of academic activities, and after that three more very strenuous years in which the reconstruction of our faculty arrangements absorbed most of the waking hours of my life. So that it was not until last year, when the University of Manchester did me the honour of asking me to deliver the Simon Lectures for 1950, that I was able once more to take up my investigations where I had left them in 1939. The work this involved was embodied in the first three lectures of the present book, which, although somewhat expanded, remain in substance as they were then delivered. I owe my many friends at Manchester a deep debt of gratitude, not only for their invitation and their kindly tolerance as listeners, but also for sending me back to a branch of our subject which I have always found especially congenial.

When, however, I came to revise these three lectures for publication, it seemed to me that, even on the very broad plane of generalization which I had chosen, my treatment would be lacking if I did not add sections dealing with the attitude of the Classical Economists to . . .

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