Robert Torrens

Robert Torrens

Born: 1780. Died: 1864.


British army officer and owner of the influential Globe newspaper. Torrens led the Anti-Bullionists during the Bullionist Debate of the 1810s but later did a virtual 180° turn to join the side of the Currency School in the Banking-Currency School Debate of the 1840s.

Robert Torrens was an independent discoverer of the Ricardo's principle of 'comparative advantage' in international trade (albeit a promoter of 'reciprocal tariffs', rather than unilateral free trade). Torrens was also a co-discoverer of the Ricardian theory of differential rent, although, in later editions, recanted the Malthusian population doctrine on which it was partly based. Torrens remained a consistent critic of the labor theory of value.

Major Books of Robert Torrens

- An Essay on Money and Paper Currency, 1812
- An Essay on the External Corn Trade, 1815
- An Essay on the Production of Wealth, 1821
- The Economist Refuted, 1808
- Letters on Commercial Policy, 1833
- On Wages and Combination, 1834
- The Principles and Practical Operation of Sir Robert Peel's Bill of 1844, 1844

Major Articles of Robert Torrens

- 1818, Strictures on Mr. Ricardo's Doctrine Respecting Exchangeable Value, Edinburgh Magazine
- 1819, Mr. Owen's Plans for Relieving the National Distress, Edinburgh Magazine


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