Diminishing returns and Malthus's first essay on population: theory and application.

S. Hollander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


"This paper argues that Malthus's famous geometrical and arithmetical ratios do not necessarily imply diminishing returns. That average product would not necessarily fall with increased population density is immaterial to the polemical purpose of the Essay on Population which is satisfied by demonstrating the necessity for a reduction of the population growth below its maximum potential. But I do not deny the presence of the diminishing returns principle in the first Essay. Indeed, here is found the origin of Malthus's later land-scarcity based growth model involving a declining path of real wages in consequence of a decelerating rate of growth of labour demand." The author also considers Malthus's analysis of the situation in Britain in 1798. (SUMMARY IN FRE) excerpt

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-39
Number of pages29
JournalEconomies et Societes
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 1989


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