T. R. Malthus

Malthus, Thomas Robert

Thomas Robert Malthus (măl´thəs), 1766–1834, English economist, sociologist, and pioneer in modern population study. A graduate of Cambridge, he was a professor at the East India College, London, from 1805 until his death. In his book An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798, rev. ed. 1803), he contended that poverty and distress are unavoidable, since population increases by geometrical ratio and the means of subsistence by arithmetical ratio. As checks on population growth, Malthus first accepted only war, famine, and disease, but in his revised work he admitted also the preventive check of "moral restraint." Although his theory caused general controversy, it was later adapted by neo-Malthusians, and its implications influenced classical economists, especially David Ricardo. However, unlike Ricardo, Malthus did not agree with Jean Baptiste Say's law of markets, which held that overproduction and unemployment were impossible since supply creates its own demand. Malthus believed that unemployment could occur when there was a surplus of unwanted products. He also wrote Principles of Political Economy (1820) and other books.

See biographies by J. Bonar (2d ed. 1924, repr. 1966) and P. James (1979); study by D. V. Glass (1953); M. Paglin, Malthus and Lauderdale; the Anti-Ricardian Tradition (1956, repr. 1973); M. Turner, ed., Malthus and His Time (1986); R. J. Mayhew, Malthus: The Life and Legacies of an Untimely Prophet (2014).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

T. R. Malthus: Selected full-text books and articles

Malthus and His Work By James Bonar Augustus M. Kelley, 1966
First Essay on Population, 1798 By Thomas Robert Malthus MacMillan, 1926
Notes on Malthus' "Principles of Political Economy" By David Ricardo; Jacob H. Hollander; T. E. Gregory Johns Hopkins Press, 1928
Three Great Economists: Smith, Malthus, Keynes By D. D. Raphael; Donald Winch; Robert Skidelsky Oxford University Press, 1997
World Hunger: A Neo-Malthusian Perspective By Mitchell Kellman Praeger Publishers, 1987
Theorists of Economic Growth from David Hume to the Present: With a Perspective on the Next Century By W. W. Rostow; Michael Kennedy Oxford University Press, 1990
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "T. R. Malthus and David Ricardo"
The Literature of Political Economy By Samuel Hollander Routledge, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Includes discussion of T. R. Malthus in multiple chapters
The Development of T.R. Malthus's Institutionalist Approach to the Cure of Poverty: From Punishment of the Poor to Investment in Their Human Capital By Jensen, Hans E Review of Social Economy, Vol. 57, No. 4, December 1999
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Apocalyptic Economics and Prophetic Politics: Radical and Romantic Responses to Malthus and Burke By Fulford, Tim Studies in Romanticism, Vol. 40, No. 3, Fall 2001
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
The Dystopian Theodicy of Parson Malthus By Beauchamp, Gorman Humanitas, Vol. 13, No. 2, Fall 2000
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
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