Torrens, R (1780-1864.5.27)
Posts Held Army Officer, 1797-1835; Proprietor, Globe newspaper.
Offices and Honours Fellow, Royal Soc., 1818; Founder, Member, Polit. Econ. Club, 1821; MP for Ashburton, 1831-2, Bolton, 1832-5.
Publications Books:1.The Economist Refuted (1808, 1858); 2. An Essay on Money and Paper Currency (1812); 3. An Essay on the External Corn Trade (1815, 1829); 4. An Essay on the Production of Wealth (1821, 1970); 5. Letters on Commercial Policy (1833, 1958); 6. The Budget (1841-2, 1965); 7. The Principles and Practical Operation of Sir Robert Peel's Bill of 1844 (1848, 1858).
Career Critic of the labour theory of value, and an independent discoverer of the principle of comparative advantage. He wrote extensively on economic questions for over 50 years. As an advocate of the principle of colonisation as a remedy for over-population, he promoted schemes for the colonisation of Australia. His views on international trade were unusual for the day in rejecting unilateral free trade, auguing instead that tariffs might be optimal under certain circumstances. Although his early writings had put the case for paper currency, he soon became a major spokesman of the Currency School. Though influential in his day, he had little effect posthumously and was rediscovered only recently.
Secondary Literature L. Robbins, Robert Torrens and the Evolution of Classical Economics (Macmillan, 1958); B. Corry, `Torrens, Robert', International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences , D. L. Sills (ed.) (Macmillan and Free Press, 1968), vol. 16.
On Wages and Combination (1834) (socsci.mcmaster.ca)
On Wages and Combination (1834) (ecn.bris.ac.uk)
On Wages and Combination (1834) (unimelb.edu.au)
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