Adam Smith's Green Thumb and Malthus's Three Horsemen: Cautionary Tales from Classical Political Economy
AbstractThis essay identifies a contradiction between the flourishing interest in the environmental economics of the classical period and a lack of critical parsing of the works of its leading representatives. Its focus is the work of Adam Smith and Thomas Malthus. It offers a critical analysis of their contribution to environmental thought and surveys the work of their contemporary devotees. It scrutinizes Smith's contribution to what Karl Polanyi termed the "economistic fallacy," as well as his defenses of class hierarchy, the "growth imperative" and consumerism. It subjects to critical appraisal Malthus's enthusiasm for private property and the market system, and his opposition to market regulation. While Malthus's principal attraction to ecological economists lies in his having allegedly broadened the scope of economics, and in his narrative of scarcity, this article shows that he, in fact, narrowed the scope of the discipline and conceptualized scarcity in a reified and pseudo-scientific way.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by M.E. Sharpe, Inc. in its journal Journal of Economic Issues.
Volume (Year): 46 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.mesharpe.com/mall/results1.asp?acr=jei
Thomas Malthus; Karl Polanyi; Adam Smith; ecological economics; natural capital; scarcity;
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ian Winship) or (Chris Nguyen).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.