Entrepreneurship, knowledge and employment

The Economic Teaching of Richard Jones at the East India College

Masunaga Atsushi, Chuo University

As the successor of Thomas Robert Malthus, Richard Jones (1790−1855) was appointed to a professorship of modern history and political economy at the East India College in 1835. He continued with his teaching duties for twenty years until immediately before his death in 1855. In my presentation, I aim to trace the outline of Jones’s lectures on political economy at the college and to reveal an aspect of his lectures that former studies have not sufficiently examined. Pullen (1981) and Tribe (1995) studied Malthus’s lectures on political economy at the college and attempted to reconstruct the subjects of his lectures. The latter also made some arguments about the character of Jones’s lectures on political economy by studying his examination papers. However, in comparison to the extensive studies on Malthus as a professor of political economy, up until recently, relatively few studies have examined Jones’s lectures and professorship. Two extant main materials reveal the subjects of Jones’s political economy lectures at the college. The first is his Text−Book published in 1852. Although this book is extremely useful for reconstructing his lectures, it is not an exhaustive resource for all his lecture subjects. The second resource consists of his examination papers on political economy, which Tribe also used in his article. However, Tribe did not analyse them in detail. This approach caused him to overlook an important subject of Jones’s political economy lectures—the advantages and difficulties in transitioning to free trade in corn. While the subject was not included in his Text−Book, it was certainly a part of his lectures, as the re-examination of his examination papers shows. This aspect of Jones’s lectures also helps to clarify the similarities and differences between the approaches Malthus and Jones employed with regard to the problem of free trade in corn.

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Keywords: Richard Jones, East India College, political economy, free trade in corn

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