Thomas Joplin and Classical Macroeconomics
A Re-appraisal of Classical Monetary Thought
In this reassessment of the 19th century monetary theorist and banking reformer, Thomas Joplin, Professor O'Brien sets out to place his subject in a new perspective. He discusses Joplin's role as a reformer and his relationships with fellow economists and explores such issues as the problems of paper currency, the principle of metallic fluctuation, agricultural prices and the monetary system and the structure of banking. The book should be of interest to anyone interested in the development of monetary economics as well as to economic historians.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
'O'Brien has made a powerful, well-researched case for Joplin's theoretical predominance.' -- Clive Belfield, History of Economic Thought 'This is not just a masterful book on a long-neglected monetary theorist and banking reformer of the 19th century but one that places both the subject and the age in an entirely different perspective. Joplin turns out to have been one of the greatest macroeconomists of the English school of Classical Political Economy and in reassessing him, O'Brien has thrown an entirely new light on the received history of monetary theory. O'Brien on McCulloch was good, but O'Brien on Joplin is breathtaking.' -- The late Mark Blaug, formerly of the University of London and University of Buckingham, UK 'This marvellous book is more than a re-evaluation of the work of a highly colourful monetary theorist, reformer and energetic controversialist. Other major landmarks, such as Robbins's Torrens and O'Brien's own McCulloch, have produced significant changes in perceptions of their subjects. But this highly readable book places virtually the whole of classical monetary and macroeconomic thought in a new perspective. Not only is Joplin shown to have been highly original in his development of concepts - a multiplier and a reciprocal demand approach to trade are just two examples - but his ability to bring new concepts to bear on the most important practical issues of his time is nothing short of staggering. Joplin argued that the basis of nineteenth monetary legislation (resulting in the 1844 Bank Act) was fundamentally flawed, largely because of its focus (along with later commentators) on the Bank of England note issue rather than money supply originating outside the Bank of England. The author provides econometric tests of Joplin's theory and shows that Joplin's macroeconomic analysis can be formulated as a sophisticated dynamic Keynesian model of an open economy. Denis O'Brien has brought to his subject a phenomenal range and depth of knowledge of economic literature in order to produce a major landmark in the history of economic analysis.' -- John Creedy, University of Melbourne, Australia 'Denis O'Brien has done something that I would have thought just about impossible, he's found new and important things to say about an episode in monetary theory that one would have thought has been thoroughly worked over by others. The book is going to be read by anyone interested in the development of monetary economics and by economic historians too.' -- David Laidler, The University of Western Ontario, Canada 'O'Brien's book goes a long way toward rectifying this neglect and restoring Joplin to his rightful place in the history of monetary thought.' -- Thomas M. Humphrey, The Economic Journal 'O'Brien's book not only provides a detailed analysis, but it brings his comprehensive knowledge of the literature to bear in convincingly arguing this case. After reading O'Brien, students of monetary history, classical macroeconomics, and nineteenth century Britain may see the subject from an improved perspective.' -- Charles F. Peake, Journal of the History of Economic Thought 'The book brings to life one of the economic "exiles".' -- Salim Rashid, Southern Economic Journal 'D.P. O'Brien has written a splendid, lucid exposition of Joplin's economic doctrines... It is an historical work of the first rank and could provide the basis for a fascinating study in the sociology of knowledge... Any serious student of the history of monetary thought, macroeconomics, or banking policy should spend some time on Joplin. O'Brien's book provides a wonderful informative guide.' -- Kevin D. Hoover, Journal of Economic Literature 'No one doing work in this area will be able to ignore O'Brien's thesis.' -- Neil T. Skaggs, History of Political Economy