Principles of Political Economy  

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The Birth of Venus (detail), a 1486 painting by Sandro Botticelli

Principles of Political Economy (1848) by John Stuart Mill was arguably the most important economics or political economy textbook of the mid nineteenth century. It was revised until its seventh edition in 1871, shortly before Mill's death in 1873, and republished in numerous other editions. Beside discussing descriptive issues such as which nations tended to benefit more in a system of trade based on comparative advantage (Mill's answer: those with more elastic demands for other countries' goods), the work also discussed normative issues such as ideal systems of political economy, critiquing proposed systems such as communism and socialism.



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