Advanced Search
Journal search
Journal cover: Humanomics


ISSN: 0828-8666

Online from: 1989

Subject Area: Economics

Content: Latest Issue | icon: RSS Latest Issue RSS | Previous Issues

Options: To add Favourites and Table of Contents Alerts please take a Emerald profile

Previous article.Icon: Print.Table of Contents.Next article.Icon: .

What recantation? The wages fund doctrines of J.S. Mill in light of Smith, and Ricardo

Document Information:
Title:What recantation? The wages fund doctrines of J.S. Mill in light of Smith, and Ricardo
Author(s):Russell McKenzie, (Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, Louisiana, USA), John Levendis, (Loyola University New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA)
Citation:Russell McKenzie, John Levendis, (2008) "What recantation? The wages fund doctrines of J.S. Mill in light of Smith, and Ricardo", Humanomics, Vol. 24 Iss: 4, pp.293 - 305
Keywords:Capital, Division of labour, Economic doctrines, Economic theory, Pay
Article type:Viewpoint
DOI:10.1108/08288660810917178 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the various forms of the classical wages fund, and especially the claim that J.S. Mill reversed his position on the nature of the wages fund.

Design/methodology/approach – Textual research from original publications of Adam Smith, David Ricardo and J.S. Mill, as well as references to current interpretations of their work are used in this paper.

Findings – Although J.S. Mill was a supporter of the classical wages fund model, he did not consistently embrace its assumption of a fixed fund. His comment in his Principles that the “discretion of the capitalist” influences the size of the fund contradicts this assumption. Without consistent support for this component of the doctrine, the “recantation” loses its historical significance, in that it is simply a reaffirmation of the views which Mill held throughout.

Research limitations/implications – It is hoped this paper can close the book on the debate on Mill's supposed recantation. There was no recantation because Mill held no firm position to recant.

Originality/value – It is understood that no one has made the connection between Mill's recantation and his other inconsistencies regarding aspects of the wages fund.

Fulltext Options:



Existing customers: login
to access this document


- Forgot password?
- Athens/Institutional login



Downloadable; Printable; Owned
HTML, PDF (257kb)Purchase

To purchase this item please login or register.


- Forgot password?

Recommend to your librarian

Complete and print this form to request this document from your librarian

Marked list

Bookmark & share

Reprints & permissions