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The Future of the Working Classes: A Comparison Between J.S. Mill and A. Marshall

  • Arrigo Opocher


    (University of Padua)

Both J. S. Mill and A. Marshall had a lifelong concern with the living conditions of the working classes and theorized the possibility of a new age, characterized by a widespread mental and moral cultivation. This paper compares the precise arguments put forward by them in the period ranging from Mill?s "The Claims of Labour" (1845) to Marshall's "Principles" (1890), against the background of the evidence of progress they had. It is argued that, at different stages and with different specific arguments, their predictions relied on self-reinforcing mechanisms, in which a better life was the cause, no less than the effect, of progress. In order to make similarities and differences more transparent from a logical point of view, two simple mathematical formulations are proposed.

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Paper provided by Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno" in its series "Marco Fanno" Working Papers with number 0078.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: May 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pad:wpaper:0078
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