Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Theory of Economic Development in the History of Economic Thought by Lionel Robbins

Status: Almost Complete (v.3)

Publisher: Macmillan
Library of Congress catalog card no. 68-29378
ISBN 10: 0-333-02164-9
ISBN 13: 9780333021644


Fix Notes:

page xii: par. 0: contemporary

I do not think that contempory economic thought runs any danger whatever of the latter state of mind.

Page 23: par. 1: St.

When St Paul said that ‘It is good for a man not to touch a woman’ but that it was ‘better to marry than to burn’, he was making a statement which has had a profound influence on the Christian attitude to relations between the sexes and which affords a mordant glimpse of his own state of mind.

Page 45: par. 1: Dr.

And, as Dr Vickers has shown, there is much in the works of writers such as Barbon and Berkeley which can be interpreted as anticipating some modern propaganda in favour of spending.

Page 50: par. 0: important

But the significance as regards any possible leakages is unequivocal; and this is fundamentally inportant.

Page 72: par. 0: Ricardian (?) (UNCHANGED)

[...] and the Ricardean theory of value, with its persistent neglect of the influence of the scarcity of different kinds of skill, can only be made at all plausible by the assumption that the differences are all assimilable to differences of investment in education.

Page 78: Footnote 2: Dr.

This is well argued by Dr Nathan Rosenberg in an excellent article:

Page 87: Footnote 3: spacing issues (?) (I assume the horrible spacing is in the cited work)

Page 104: par. 2: Missing '

Apart from the yield of capital, they distinguished elements in this residue which Mill described as ‘interest, insurance and wages of superintendence .2

Page 121: par. 0: St.

[...] and whether because of this or by reason of independent reflection the same point was emphasised by St Thomas Aquinas and thereafter by other scholastic writers and mercantilist pamphleteers.

Page 129: par. 2: maintenance

But this has been in the alleged interests of the mainte-ance of confidence or justice to creditors rather than in the direct interests of development, although doubtless many of the proponents of such policies would argue that in the long run development

Page 135: par. 2: happiness

Hence it follows, he concludes, ‘that it is of no manner of consequence, with regard to the domestic happeness of a state, whether money be in a greater or less quantity.

Page 140: Footnote 3: F. W.

Smith, op. cit., vol. i, p. 287. For a detailed history of the so-called ‘real bills’ doctrine see Lloyd Mints, A History of Banking Theory in Great Britain and the United States (Chicago, 1945) and F W Fetter, The Development of British Monetary Orthodoxy (Harvard, 1965).

Page 151: par. 3: constituents

The first arises in connection with changes in the relative availability of different constitutents of the same collection of goods.

Page 158: par. 0: St.

And although St Thomas Aquinas, in his Summa, has little to add to Aristotle on matters of trade and economic life generally, except an analytical blunder about fungibles which was all his own, by the time we come to the works of St Antonino, written at the crest of the commercial greatness of Florence, [...]

Page 171: par. 0: missing space

But the approach,via the comparison of more or less development at the expense of less or more achievement of other ends, is an immeasurable improvement on the loose habit of comparison of all of one thing or all of the other.

Page 172: par. 3: Dr.

Of these, at once the subtlest and the most forceful is Dr E. J. Mishan’s [...]

Page 173: par. 1: Dr.

Dr Mishan’s book is a powerful denunciation not only of economic growth but of the prevalent spirit of the age; and there can be little doubt that a certain fundamental pessimism and sensitivity colours his verdicts on some developments which others would value differently.

Page 173: par. 2: Dr.

But no one has given it so wide a coverage or used it with such argumentative force as Dr Mishan.

Page 173: par. 3: Dr.

Nevertheless, in attributing these evils to economic growth as such, Dr Mishan seems to me to have established a faulty perspective.

Page 173: par. 4: Dr.

Few, I imagine, would differ from Dr Mishan in deploring the by-products of this tendency.

Page 174: par. 0: Dr.

And, in my judgment at least, many if not all of the most conspicuous evils which Dr Mishan denounces would tend to disappear if the increase of numbers were to cease, still more if there were some tendency to reduction.

Page 177: St.

Aquinas, St Thomas.


Throughout the book it swaps between lowercase letters, and smallcaps. For example:

"bk. ii" and "bk. II"
"vol. ii" and "vol. II"

I cannot figure out the logic/reasoning behind it being lowercase or smallcaps.


  1. Hey Tex i found this gem of a novel on the mises website yet its only a pdf.

    Thanks again for what you do.

    1. There is a Kindle Edition here:

      Feel free to purchase that, and I can touch it up for you if you wanted. There isn't an official EPUB out there that I can see (or at least B&N is not selling it).

      Plus it is cheaper to spend $9.99 and work from there, than for me to spend many hours on PDF -> EPUB conversion. They have already done most of the work!

      From what I see, Random House is the publisher (and most likely owns the rights for a few more decades).

      My Economics In One Lesson EPUB, has been hunted down repeatedly. And I do not want to get my Mediafire account banned for too many takedown notices.

      I will ask around tomorrow though, but I assume this is one of those that is sadly locked up in copyright for a few more decades.... it makes me sick that someone can just take the free scan, and make a really crappy conversion on their own to read more comfortably.... and here I am offering an extremely high quality conversion from free resources, that then gets taken down.

    2. Thanks for the information on this ebook. It is sad that individuals can just lock up a book in copyright and not let others improve upon the work. Oh well, we can only hope that one day enough individuals will get out of their box and explore the world of ideas unfiltered by copyright.


  2. Broken mediafire link

    1. Reuploaded, thanks for letting me know.