Malthus Across Nations
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Malthus Across Nations

The Reception of Thomas Robert Malthus in Europe, America and Japan

Edited by Gilbert Faccarello, Masashi Izumo and Hiromi Morishita

The writings of Thomas Robert Malthus continue to resonate today, particularly An Essay on the Principle of Population which was published more than two centuries ago. Malthus Across Nations creates a fascinating picture of the circulation of his economic and demographic ideas across different countries, highlighting the reception of his works in a variety of nations and cultures. This unique book offers not only a fascinating piece of comparative analysis in the history of economic thought but also places some of today’s most pressing debates into an accurate historical perspective, thereby improving our understanding of them.
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Chapter 6: The reception of Malthus in Spain and Spanish-speaking Latin America

Javier San Julián Arrupe

Abstract

Malthus was well known in nineteenth-century Spain, his name being distinctly linked to the theory of population. Although the Essay on Population was translated late, Malthus’s ideas permeated Spanish cultured society. Economists celebrated his merits, but believed that the theory of population did not fit the case of Spain. Contributions contained in the Principles of Political Economy remained unknown, except for a small group of economists. Some praised the theory of land rent, but virtually none endorsed the theory of underconsumption, in an intellectual framework where Say’s law was accepted. The dissemination of Malthus in Latin America is still to be analysed in depth, but evidence collected here allows us to say that the process was quite similar. The cultured elite knew Malthus’s ideas on population, and economists appreciated his contributions. However, they did not think that the principles on population were useful for these vast new republics

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