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INDEX TO THE ECONOMIC JOURNAL
ORIGINAL ARTICLES :-
Government and Local Authorities
Agnelli, Arnaldo, Libero Scambio. By Prof. C. F. Bastable
Étrangers. By A, H. Blomefield
Arendt, Charles, Economie Politique Scientifique ; Définitions et Jethodes.
wilh the Observations upon the Bills of Mortality, more probably by Captain
Constructive Study in Economic Theory. By Prof. F. Y. Edgeworth 233
and Development of the Theory of Labour Claim to the Whole Product of
REVIEWS (continued) —
Neymarck, Alfred, Vocabulaire Manuel d'Economie Politique. By E. Castelot 236
duction, de la Circulation, de la Distribution ct de la Consommation de la
Richesse. By E. Castelot
NOTES AND MEMORANDA :
Acworth, W. M., Professor Cohn and State Railway Ownership in England...
The Regulation of Wages lwy Lists in the Spinning In.
NOTES AND MEMORANDA (continued) -
Dawson, William Harbutt, The Housing of the Working Classes in Germany 445
Professor Seligman on the Mathematical Method in
RECENT PARLIAMENTARY PAPERS
RECENT PERIODICALS AND NEW BOOKS... 150-160, 342-352, 494-504, 674-687
THE ECONOMIC JOURNAL
OUGHT MUNICIPAL ENTERPRISES TO BE ALLOWED
TO YIELD A PROFIT?1
WHATEVER views he may hold as to the remote future, I do not suppose any one will be inclined to deny that just at present in this country the economic work—the purely and obviously economic work-of municipalities and similar local governments is increasing in importance, not only absolutely, but also in proportion to the whole of human economic activity. So if an English economist holds that economics ought to be useful to the population of this particular planet, not merely as an intellectual exercise affording food for thought and speculation, as Adam Smith says of religion, but also as affording some guidance in practical affairs, he is bound to endeavour to give some general answers to the important questions to which the extension of municipal economic activity gives rise. One of the most important of these questions is: Should municipal enterprises pay, or should they be worked at cost price ?—should they bring in where possible something in aid of the general rates of the locality, or should all such aid be foregone by the general body of ratepayers ?
Recently a Minister of the Crown, who had considerable municipal experience many years ago, likened a municipality to a joint-stock company. If the parallel were exact, there would be an end to the question which I have propounded, for no one supposes that joint-stock company enterprise could be carried on if dividends were disallowed. But the parallel is not at all exact. It is a useful comparison, however, and we cannot do better than approach the question with a brief review of the
1 Read before Section F of the British Association, 1898. No. 33.-VOL. IX.