Researches into the Mathematical Principles of the Theory of Wealth. Augustin Cournot , Nathaniel T. Bacon

F. D. Merritt
1898 Journal of Political Economy  
event is deplorable since in the " long run " all things will work together for good. The fact that there must be a cause for everything is used as evidence to show that everything is therefore as it should be. As a matter of fact the economic salvation of the world is being worked out before our eyes. Wealth was never so plentiful or so evenly distributed as now ; wages never so high, capitalists never so well off; inventions for saving labor are more numnerous and useful than ever before ;
more » ... an ever before ; the altruistic spirit is rapidly spreading; those who fail or die do so because they deserve such death or failure. In a sort of statistical " lean-to" the author comiibats the statements miade in Professor Spahr's JDistiibu-tioAl of Wealt/i in the United States. Those who follow the subtleties of Professor Spahr and Mr. Willey will obtain an excellent view of some aspects of the statistical method. Macmillan Company, 1897. I2MO. Pp. iX+209; one plate. COURNOT'S original work has been out of print for a long time and has beeD practically inaccessible to mnost economiists. The translation of it is timely because of the interest shown at the present time in the application of miathematics to political econoruly. Cournot was one of the first economiiists who met with success in the attempt of establishing and elaborating a thoroughly consistent theory of value by an analysis of consumption. He may be called the principal founder of the mathem-latical school of political economy, for this work was published sixteen years before the first publication of Gossen. As such his work is deserving of careful study. But the book is of itself worthy of study. The larger part of its conclusions have not been superseded, and its reasoning is still fresh and invigorating. At the timile of its publication it was not well received by the public and was forgotten until rediscovered by Jevons. Cournot uses as synonym-lous terms wealth and valiue in exchanige. He disregards utility, because utilities are questions of valuation that are not soluble by calculation nor by logical argument. In chapter ii, which treats "Of Changes in Value, Absolute and
doi:10.1086/250526 fatcat:6gize4ah7jbbdaqemwgj43bq6i