Print page

David Hume (1711–1776) And James Steuart (1712–1780)

Pioneers in Economics series
Edited by the late Mark Blaug, former Professor Emeritus, University of London and Professor Emeritus, University of Buckingham, UK
David Hume is best known for his work on political philosophy. However, he wrote a series of essays on money, population and international trade which must rank among the major economic writings of the 18th century. Certainly they influenced Adam Smith and have a sparkling quality that still makes them worth reading today. His statement of the so-called ‘specie-flow mechanism’ constituted his answer to the mercantilist concern with the maintenance of a chronic surplus in the balance of payments. He also put forward what is now known as the ‘theory of creeping inflation’ and advocated the notion that political freedom flows from economic freedom.
Extent: 352 pp
Hardback Price: £138.00 Online: £124.20
Publication Date: 1991
ISBN: 978 1 85278 473 7
Availability: In Stock
£0.00

Join our mailing list

  • Economics and Finance
  • Economic Psychology
  • History of Economic Thought
David Hume is best known for his work on political philosophy. However, he wrote a series of essays on money, population and international trade which must rank among the major economic writings of the 18th century. Certainly they influenced Adam Smith and have a sparkling quality that still makes them worth reading today. His statement of the so-called ‘specie-flow mechanism’ constituted his answer to the mercantilist concern with the maintenance of a chronic surplus in the balance of payments. He also put forward what is now known as the 'theory of creeping inflation' and advocated the notion that political freedom flows from economic freedom.

James Steuart was a British mercantilist, the last in a long line stretching back to the 16th century. He advocated the entire armoury of mercantilist policies: the regulation of foreign trade to induce an inflow of gold, the promotion of industry by inducing cheap raw material imports, protective duties on imported manufactured goods, encouragement of exports, particularly finished goods because they are labour-intensive, control of the size of population by emigration and immigration to keep wages low, all capped by a denial of Hume's argument that an inflow of gold will only raise prices and thus drive gold abroad.
18 articles, dating from 1945 to 1984
Contributors include: M.A. Akhtar, M. Arkin, M.I. Duke, R.V. Eagly, J.M. Low, C.B. Luttrell, T. Mayer, R.L. Meek, D.R. Raynor, C.E. Staley, A.S. Skinner, W.F. Stettner, W.L. Taylor
Contents:
1. W.F. Stettner (1945), 'Sir James Steuart on the Public Debt'.
2. J.M. Low (1952), 'An Eighteenth Century Controversy in the Theory of Economic Progress'.
3. J.M. Low (1954), 'The Rate of Interest: British Opinion in the Eighteenth Century'.
4. M. Arkin (1956), 'The Economic Writings of David Hume - A Reassessment'.
5. W.L. Taylor (1957), 'A Short Life of Sir James Steuart: Political Economist'.
6. R.L. Meek (1958), 'The Economics of Control Prefigured by Sir James Steuart'.
7. R.V. Eagly (1961), 'Sir James Steuart and the "Aspiration Effect"'.
8. A.S. Skinner (1963), 'Sir James Steuart: Economics and Politics'.
9. A.S. Skinner (1962), 'Sir James Steuart: International Relations'.
10. A. S.Skinner (1965), 'Economics and the Problem of Method: An Eighteenth Century View'.
11. C.B. Luttrel (1975), 'Thomas Jefferson on Money and Banking: Disciple of David Hume and Forerunner of Some Modern Monetary Views'.
12. C.E. Staley (1976), 'Hume and Viner on the International Adjustment Mechanism'.
13. M.A. Akhtar (1978), 'Sir James Steuart on Economic Growth'.
14. M.A. Akhtar (1979), 'An Analytical Outline of Sir James Steuart's Macroeconomic Model'.
15. M.I. Duke (1979), 'David Hume and Monetary Adjustment'.
16. T. Mayer (1980), 'David Hume and Monetarism'.
17. A.S. Skinner (1981), 'Sir James Steuart: Author of a System'.
18. D.R. Raynor (1984), 'Hume's Abstract of Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments'
Name Index.