In the history of economics or the biography of Ricardo it is of interest to show that he anticipated later writers, or that his analysis bears the test of modern criticism; but no economist is under any obligation to defend Ricardo's reputation, nor is the fact that a doctrine is included in his works to be taken as a demonstration of its truth.
We may talk of the assumptions implicitly involved in Ricardo's works.
Ricardo's works, in fact, do not explain a theoretical system, but contain the matured reflections, more or less closely reasoned, of a man of great mental power looking out on the world as it appeared to a business man experienced in affairs.
Ricardo's statement of the theory left upon the world an impression, not wholly just, of singular clearness.
Ricardo's paper on" The Influence of Various Fuels on the Performance of Internal-Combustion Engines,"published in 1921.
Ricardo's first tract, as well as another on the same subject, attracted much attention.
M'Culloch were Ricardo's disciples, and, he added, his only genuine ones.
Ricardo's chief work, Principles of Political Economy and Taxation, appeared in 1817.
Ricardo's theory of distribution has been briefly enunciated as follows: "(I) The demand for food determines the margin of cultivation; (2) this margin determines rent; (3) the amount necessary to maintain the labourer determines wages; (4) the difference between the amount produced by a given quantity of labour at the margin and the wages of that labour determines profit."
A certain step towards realizing the objects of his scheme, though on different lines from Ricardo's, was taken in Sir Robert Peel's act of 1844, by which the discount business of the bank was separated from the issue department.
But the truth of Ricardo's theorems is now by his warmest admirers admitted to be hypothetical only.
The criticisms to which Ricardo's general economic scheme is open do not hold with respect to his treatment of the subjects of currency and banking.
They were, besides, the departments of the study to which Ricardo's early training and practical habits led him to give special attention; and they have a lasting value independent of his systematic construction.
Ricardo's collected works were published, with a notice of his life and writings, by J.
(1847) of the Collection des principaux economistes, where they are accompanied by the notes of Say, Malthus, Sismondi, Rossi, &c. The Principles was first "naturalized" in Germany, says Roscher (though another version by Von Schmid had previously appeared), by Edward Baumstark in his David Ricardo's Grundgesetze der Volkswirthschaft and der Besteuerung iibersetzt and erletutert (1837), which Roscher highly commends, not only for the excellence of the rendering, but for the value of the explanations and criticisms which are added.