- On economics of construction and of operation, see Wellington, The Economic Theory of Railway Location (5th ed., New York, 1896).
In stating the position of economics during this time we cannot ignore all writers, except those who belonged to one group, however eminent that group may have been, simply because they did not represent the dominant ideas of the period, and exercised no immediate and direct influence on the movement of economic thought.
If we take this broadly historical view of the progress of economics, it is obvious that even in England there was no general agreement, during the 19th century, as to the methods most appropriate to economic investigation.
On the principles we have explained, therefore, the Ricardian economics should supply just that body of general theory which is required in the investigation of modern economic problems, and the reputation of at any rate the leading writers should be as great as ever.
But apart from the applied science, there is an aspect of pure geography which concerns the theory of the relation of economics to the surface of the earth.
Byers, Economics of Railway Operation (New York, 1908); E.
Economics is therefore, on the whole, an intensely conservative science, in which new truths are cautiously admitted or incorporated merely as extensions or qualifications of those enunciated by previous writers.
At present the language of economics is for the ordinary Englishman like a foreign language of exceptional difficulty, because he is constantly meeting with words which suggest to his mind a whole world of associations quite different form those with which economic theory has clothed them.
The first sign we have of his interest in economics is a letter (1749) on paper money, written to his fellow student the abbe de Cice, refuting the abbe Terrasson's defence of Law's system.
We understand by economics the science which investigates the manner in which nations or other larger or smaller communities, and their individual members, obtain food, clothing, shelter and whatever else is considered desirable or necessary for the maintenance and improvement of the conditions of life.
It is easy to understand, therefore, why we trace the beginnings of economics, so far as England is concerned, in the 16th century, and why the application of strict scientific tests in this subject of human study has become possible only in comparatively recent times.
To many minds the interest and usefulness of economics depend entirely on the application of these methods, for it is the actual working of economic institutions about which the statesman, the publicist, the business man and the artisan wish to know.
We must include the pioneers of the historical school, the economic historians, the socialists, the statisticians, and others whose contributions to economics are now appreciated, and without whose labours the science as we know it now would have been impossible.
In a subject like economics it must always be very difficult to decide how far a departure from the traditional form and.
Others, which were considered of fundamental importance, owe their position in modern economics and the form in which they are stated to the " tradition of the elders."
Moreover, the study of the theory of rent has had a very great influence on all branches of economics by destroying the notion that it is possible to draw sharp lines of distinction, or deal with economic conceptions as though they were entirely independent categories.
There are few if any conceptions in economics which cannot be expressed in it without depleting the ordinary vocabulary.
But in a subject like economics obscurity and an awkward terminology are not marks of scientific merit.
The scientific study of the economics of local administration is, however, in its infancy, and requires to be taken up in earnest by economists.
TREATIES; TRUSTS; MONEY; FINANCE; &c. The bibliography of economics as a whole would include a history of all the writers on the subject, and .is beyond our scope here; see the numerous articles on economic subjects throughout this work.
There are two excellent secondary accounts: Samuel P. Orth, The Centralization of Administration in Ohio, in the Columbia University Studies in History, Economics and Public Law, xvi.
Wilcox, Municipal Government in Michigan and Ohio, in the Columbia University Studies in History, Economics and Public Law, v.