The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Mill, James (1773–1836)

  • Donald Winch
Reference work entry


James Mill, Indian civil servant, Benthamite, and father and mentor of John Stuart Mill, introduced Jean-Baptiste Say’s law of markets into British economic discourse. In addition to important works on the history of India, political and legal reform, and associationist psychology, he was the author of a textbook of Ricardian economics and played a major part in convincing Ricardo that he should write his Principles of Political Economy (1817). Through his son he was also responsible for giving prominence to proposals for taxing the ‘unearned increment’ in rental incomes that were influential in forming radical and socialist thinking in Britain.


Associationist psychology Bentham, J. Betterment charge Birth control Corn Laws Deductive method Effective demand Fabian economics Labour theory of value Land nationalization Land tax Law of rent Macauley, T. B. Malthus, T. R. Methodology of economics Mill, J. Mill, J. S. Philosophic radicalism Productive and unproductive labour Ricardo, D. Say, J.-B. Say’s law Stewart, D. Underconsumptionism 

JEL classifications

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Bain, A. 1882. James Mill: A biography. London: Longmans.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ball, T. 1992. James Mill: Political writings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  3. De Marchi, N.B. 1983. The case for James Mill. In Methodological controversy in economics: Historical essays in honor of T.W. Hutchison, ed. A.W. Coats. Greenwich: JAI Press.Google Scholar
  4. Keynes, J.M. 1936. General theory of employment interest and money. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  5. Macaulay, T.B. 1829. Mill’s essay on government: Utilitarian logic and politics. Edinburgh Review 97.Google Scholar
  6. Mill, J.S. 1843. A system of logic. London: Parker.Google Scholar
  7. Mill, J.S. 1844. On the definition of political economy; and on the method of investigation proper to it. In Essays on some unsettled questions in political economy. London: Parker. [Written 1829; first published in the London and Westminster Review, 1836].Google Scholar
  8. Ricardo, D. 1817. Principles of political economy and taxation. London: John Murray.Google Scholar
  9. Say, J.-B. 1814. Traitéd’économiepolitique, 2nd ed. Paris: A.-A. Renouard.Google Scholar
  10. Winch, D. 1966. James Mill: Selected economic writings. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd. Reissue, New Brunswick: Transaction, 2006.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald Winch
    • 1
  1. 1.