The Economics of W. S. Jevons

By Sandra Peart | Go to book overview

NOTES

1 INTRODUCTION
1
See the review of 21 October 1886, in the Daily News (JA6/50/15); the 25 June review in The Literary World (JA6/50/24); and the 14 June review (JA6/50/29).
2
‘It is arguable that William Stanley Jevons has a better claim to the title “pioneer of modern economics” than any of his British contemporaries’ (Black 1981, p. 1).
3
See Walras’ remarks to Jevons, (P&C, iv, p. 45), cited in full in Chapter 9.
4
17 November 1857; P&C, ii, p. 307.
5
Thomas Kuhn characterizes ‘scientific revolutions’ as ‘those non-cumulative developmental episodes in which an older paradigm is replaced in whole or in part by an incompatible new one’ (1962, p. 92). Following recent scholar-ship, we may distinguish between paradigms as ‘world views’ and ‘paradigmas-exemplar’ (Argyrous 1992, p. 232). The latter notion consists of a ‘concrete piece of research or standard illustration that becomes a classic example of how ‘good’ science is conducted and that suggests further research’ (ibid., p. 232). As such, it is related to, but more narrow than, ‘world view’: exemplars constitute components of world views which provide guidance for conducting further research within a specific world view. In this sense, Jevons’s methodology constitutes a ‘revolutionary’ development.
6
Backhouse (1994) has argued that the ‘standard approach’ to the history of economic thought, which places the history of value theory at its centre, has minimized the importance of examining ‘problems of empirical evidence and the testing of economic theories’ (pp. 8-9; cf. Georgescu-Roegen 1968, p. 236). Schabas has suggested that Jevons’s contribution to economics was methodological, as opposed to theoretical; her focus has been on the introduction of mathematical techniques into the discipline (1989, p. 62; see Peart 1992 and 1993b).
7
The following biographical material is drawn largely from Rosamund Könekamp’s ‘Biographical Introduction’ to the Papers and Correspondence [P&C], i, pp. 1-52, as well as Margaret Schabas (1990, pp. 12-30). See also, Black (1981). Appendix 1.1 contains a chronology of major events in Jevons’s life.
8
In 1815, Thomas Jevons launched a small iron pleasure boat built according to his design; he also designed an iron lifeboat that was built in 1822 (P&C, i, pp. 3-4). For correspondence and newsclippings relating to these inventions, see JA3/3/6-9.
9
The pamphlet was entitled Prosperity of the landholders not dependant on the Corn-laws. See JA3/3/10 for printed reviews.

-232-

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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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