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
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • 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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