The Life and works of David Ricardo

David Ricardo

Who is David Ricardo?

David Ricardo, a classical economist, a British political economist, and a proponent of countless economic theories. Born in England in 1772, the Englishman went into business for himself after his father disowned him after marrying Priscilla Anne Wilkinson, who was of different faith. He was supported by Lubbocks and Forster which was a famous banking house.

He made a fortune, when his speculations about the outcome of the Battle of Waterloo were right, Buying British securities at a steep discount bagging huge amounts of sterling. In 1818 he bought a seat in parliament were he posed as an earnest reformer for four years.

He bought numerous properties including the Gatcombe Park and an estate in Gloucestershire which is now owned by Princess Anne. The English Man was well acquainted with James Mill, Jeremey Bentham and Thomas Malthus who are all well-known political economists.

His Works and Contributions

David Ricardo was a proponent of many theories, and he was most known for his Iron Law of Wages, which was a proposed law of economics that asserts that real wages tend to go toward the minimum wage which is necessary to sustain the like of the worker.

Since he became a member of the parliament he also passed laws that is still present even up to now, one of these was the Law of rent were he clearly defined the term Rent as “"the difference between the produce obtained by the employment of two equal quantities of capital and labor.”

Ricardian Equivalence

This is an economic theory that suggests that when a government tries to stimulate the economy by increasing debt-financed government spending, the demand for a certain product remains unchanged. This is because the public saves its excess money to pay for expected tax increases in the future which will be used in order to pay off the Debt.


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