# The Economics of W. S. Jevons

By Sandra Peart | Go to book overview

APPENDIX 10.3 THE DAVENANT CORN LAW

1 The Davenant Corn Law and Jevons’s estimates compared
 Harvest 1.0 0.9 0.8 0.7 0.6 0.5 Price (Davenant) 1.0 1.3 1.8 2.6 3.8 5.5 Price calculated (Jevons)* 1.06 1.36 1.78 2.45 3.58 5.71 Source: TPE, p. 158 * Using Jevons’s estimated equation: p=0.824/(q−0.12)2

2 Stigler’s numerical solution to the Davenant Law

Stigler begins by transforming Jevons’s equation, and accepting the presumption that the value for the exponent is 2:

p=a/(x−b)2, then becomes p(x−b)2=a.

To solve for b, use the two extreme values for x and p (1.0, 1.0) and (0.5, 5.5):

1.0(1.0-b)2=5.5(0.5−b)2.

This yields b=0.12 as the solution for b, which agrees with Jevons’s estimate.

To find a, compute the value of:

p(x−0.12)2=a for the six pairs, and then find the arithmetic mean.

This yields a=0.824, which equals Jevons’s estimate precisely.

Source: S. Stigler (1994, pp. 187-88)

-219-

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The Economics of W. S. Jevons

• Title Page iii
• Contents vii
• Acknowledgements x
• 1 - Introduction 1
• Appendix 1.1 Chronology of Jevons’s Life 8
• Part I - Macroeconomic Concerns 19
• 2 - Jevons’s Theory of Economic Growth 21
• Appendix 2.1 Coal Consumption 42
• Appendix 2.2 Population Data 44
• 3 - Sunspots and Expectations 45
• Part II - Microeconomic Theory 71
• 4 - Jevons’s Theory of Political Economy 73
• 5 - Jevons’s Theory of Exchange 90
• Appendix 5.1 Physics and Neoclassical Economics 114
• 6 - Production 115
• Part III - Economic Policy 135
• 7 - Jevons and Utilitarianism 137
• 8 - Jevons’s Analysis of Policy 155
• Part IV - Methodology 171
• 9 - The Rise of Empirical Methods 173
• 10 - Jevons’s Empirical Studies 194
• Appendix 10.1 Jevons’s Commodity Groups, Enlarged Sample 214
• Appendix 10.2 The Currency Wear Calculations 217
• Appendix 10.3 The Davenant Corn Law 219
• Appendix 10.4 Jevons’s 1875 Buys-Ballot Table 220
• 11 - Conclusion 221
• Notes 232
• References 295
• Index 307
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