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 7: The reception and appropriation of Malthus in Portugal and Brazil

José Luís Cardoso and Alexandre Mendes Cunha

Abstract

This chapter deals with the diversity of readings and appropriations of the work of Malthus in Portugal and Brazil during the nineteenth century. Three cases of reception are considered. The first concerns the comments by José da Silva Lisboa to the Essay on the Principle of Population, stressing the relation between population growth and available means of subsistence. The second case discusses the critical analysis of Francisco Solano Constâncio of Malthus’s Principles of Political Economy in the context of the discussion of J.-B. Say’s law of markets and of the occurrence of crises of overproduction. The third relates to the use by José Ferreira Borges of Malthus’s Definitions in Political Economy and his search for a systematisation of relevant concepts. This chapter also includes a variety of examples of the dissemination of Malthus among Portuguese-speaking authors, with impact on political debate related to demographic and social issues.

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