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Value and Riches

  • Meacci, Ferdinando

The distinction between ‘value’ and ‘riches’ was first highlighted by Ricardo in Chapter XX, ‘Value and Riches, their distinctive Properties’, of his Principles (1821). Ricardo’s aim was to clear up Smith’s famous statement that “every man is rich or poor according to the degree in which he can afford to enjoy the necessaries, conveniences, and amusements of human life” (1776, Bk.I, Ch.V). The paper argues that Ricardo's criticism of Smith's statement is as inaccurate as Smith's peculiar way of developing by such a statement his crucial distinction between the wealth of an individual and the wealth of a society as well as his analysis of the mechanisms by which the search for increasing the former (via the notion of "exchangeable values") results in an actual increase of the latter (via the notion of "use values").

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 14715.

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Date of creation: 1998
Date of revision: 15 Apr 2009
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:14715
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  1. Malthus,T. R., 2008. "T. R. Malthus: Principles of Political Economy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521075916 edited by Pullen,John.
  2. Pullen,John (ed.), 2008. "T. R. Malthus: Principles of Political Economy 2 Volume Paperback Set Real Author-Name:Malthus,T. R," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521735735.
  3. Malthus,T. R., 2008. "T. R. Malthus: Principles of Political Economy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521075930 edited by Pullen,John.
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