Nassau William Senior

Nassau William Senior

Born: 1790. Died: 1864.


The first holder of the Drummond Chair at Oxford, Nassau William Senior was a detractor from orthodox Ricardianism and more in the the 'Oxford-Dublin' tradition of supply-and-demand economics. Specifically, Senior can be credited with the initiation in Great Britain of the utility-based demand and the cost of production-based supply scheme, thus an important predecessor of the Marginalist Revolution. John Stuart Mill took much effort to respond to Senior.

Senior also developed an 'abstinence' theory of capital and interest (in his main 1836 treatise). An important opponent of Malthus's population doctrines, Senior was also one of the developers of the ill-fated wages fund doctrine. His methodological essays on the scope of political economy - his insistence on the deductive method and his arguments for the distinction between wealth and welfare - are also well-known.

A proponent of laissez-faire, Senior was a active participant in Whig politics, being one of the commissioners responsible for the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834. Senior was famously opposed to trade unions and against reductions in working hours (arguing that for enterprise, 'the whole net profit is derived from the last hour').

Major Books of Nassau William Senior

- A Letter To Lord Howick On A Legal Provision For The Irish Poor, 1831
- An Outline of the Science of Political Economy, 1836
- Essays on Fiction, 1864
- Four Introductory Lectures on Political Economy, 1852
- Historical and Philosophical Essays, Volume I, 1789; II, 1865
- Lecture on the Production of Wealth, 1847
- Letters on the Factory Act, 1837
- On the Cost of Obtaining Money and on Some Effects of Private and Government Paper Money, 1830
- Some Ambiguous Terms Used in Political Economy, 1826, in Whateley, editor, Elements of Logic, Encyclopedia Metropolitana
- Statement of the Provision for the Poor in America and Europe, 1835
- Three Lectures on the Rate of Wages, 1830
- Three Lectures on the Transmission of Precious Metals from Country to Country and the Mercantile Theory of Wealth, 1827
- Three Lectures on the Value of Money, 1840
- Two Lectures on Population, 1829
- Suggestions on Popular Education, 1861
- American Slavery (in part a reprint from the Edinburgh Review), 1862
- An Address on Education, 1863
- Biographical Sketches, 1865
- Journal kept in Turkey and Greece in the Autumn of 1857 and the Beginning of 1858, 1859
- Journals, Conversations and Essays relating to Ireland, Mary Charlotte Mair Simpson, editor, 1868
- Journals kept in France and Italy from 1848 to 1852, with a Sketch of the Revolution of 1848, Mary Charlotte Mair Simpson, editor, Volume I and II, 1871
- Conversations with Thiers, Guizot and other Distinguished Persons during the Second Empire, Mary Charlotte Mair Simpson, editor, 1878
- Conversations with Distinguished Persons during the Second Empire, from 1860 to 1863, Mary Charlotte Mair Simpson, editor, 1880
- Conversations and Journals in Egypt and Malta, Mary Charlotte Mair Simpson, editor, Volume I and II, 1882
- Correspondence and Conversations with Alexis de Tocqueville from 1834 to 1859, Mary Charlotte Mair Simpson, editor, 1872

Major Articles of Nassau William Senior

- 1821, Report on the State of Agriculture, Quarterly Review
- 1841, Grounds and Objects of the Budget, Hume Tracts
- 1848, J.S. Mill on Political Economy, Edinburgh Review


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