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in those seductive but delusive conjectures, to which the ignorant and rash statistician is prone. Professor Mayo-Smith indeed, with a scientific spirit which rises above a narrow patriotism, repeats more than once a needed caution against blind reliance on the vast mass of statistical material that his countrymen, with a diligence more admirable and more apparent than the discrimination with which it should be accompanied, have gathered together in their Census and other publications.
Readers of the previous volume will hardly require to be reminded of the systematic subdivisions of the subject, which he follows in his separate chapters. He first states the "economic purpose" with which the statistician may set about his work--the particular questions, that is, to which he expects or hopes to find a numerical answer ; he then examines the “ statistical data " available, and here, from the nature of things, he is compelled to make selections; he next proceeds to note the extent to which these data succeed, or fail, in passing the “scientific tests,” to which they can be submitted ; and he ends with a “reflective analysis” of the conclusions, which may safely be drawn. This clear and logical arrangement, which, we think, conduces in no small measure to the value and attractiveness of the treatise, is similarly exhibited in the main plan of the book. Adopting the common divisions of an ordinary economic text-book, but rearranging the order in which he treats of them, Professor Mayo-Smith handles in succession the statistics of consumption and production, of exchange and distribution. Family budgets, index-numbers, the growth of capital, the progress of wages, may be selected as typical examples of his “ quality." His treatment of these topics shows that he is abreast of recent developments of study, that he is at once a lucid exponent and an able operator of statistical technique, that he knows the limitations and capacities of his science, and that he is as jealous for its fair fame as he is eager for its sure progress.
We offer him our congratulations on the achievement of the work, of which he excited anticipations by his first instalment, and of which he has now reached the successful conclusion.
L. L. PRICE
The Growth of Cities in the Nineteenth Century. A Study in
Statistics. By ADNA FERRIN WEBER. [Columbia
The intimate connection between Economics and Statistics is instructively manifested in this study. A great part of it might be read as a supplement to the fourth book of Professor Marshall's Principles of Economics. We refer especially to the passages in which Mr. Weber discusses the bearing of the growth of cities on the increase of production and on the diminution of vigour.
The connection between the localisation and the organisation of industry is conspicuous in the past and is likely long to prevail in the future. Mr. Weber does not expect the tendency to be reversed by the supply of electrical power at the home of each worker. Steam power has not been the only cause of concentration. Facility for transportation is one of the circumstances favourable to the growth of a city; especially where there has been a break in transportation, for instance a meeting point of hill and plain or of sea and land, requiring a change of vehicle. An essential condition for the concentration of a large proportion of the world's population in cities is that the law of diminishing returns should not act strongly in agriculture. The condition must have been fulfilled by the territory of the great cities of old time-Thebes, Nineveh and Babylon-and is likely to be fulfilled in modern times up to the period dimly descried by some far-seeing statisticians when population will once more begin to press closely on subsistence.
Mr. Weber does not deprecate this tendency as fatal to the vital energy of the race. There appears to be no direct connection between the residence in cities and marriage-rate; the rate depends rather on the occupation than the density of the population. Much the same may be said of the birth-rate ; account being taken of course in both cases that
; the population of adults among the inhabitants in cities is greater than in the rest of the population. The death-rate tells more strongly against cities. As Mr. Weber puts it
* One hundred thousand males born in Manchester would be reduced to 63,326, and 100,000 females to 66,325 in five years; while in the healthy (rural] districts it would take 50 and 48 years respectively to bring about the same reduction."
But even as to the death-rate Mr. Weber is hopeful. There has been a marked decline in urban mortality in recent years, both absolutely and in comparison with the general mortality. In several countries, especially Bavaria, the large cities have the advantage over the rest of the population in respect of the death-rate, even in infant mortality "which is one of the most decisive indices of a locality's healthfulness." Much may be hoped from sanitary appliances; much from sane methods of life.
• That cleanliness and healthfulness may co-exist with indigence is shown by the example of the tenth ward in New York city. For it is not only by far the most densely populated ward in New York, both as regards number of inhabitants to the acre and the number of tenants to the house, but it also contained a large number of the rear tenements so scathingly denounced as death-traps by the Tenement House Committee of 1894. Yet notwithstanding these conditions the tenth ward had the extremely low death-rate of 17:14 (per thousand). This favourable death-rate was not the result of superior economic conditions ; on the contrary the population consists almost entirely of Russian and Polish Jews, who are among the poorest classes of the city. Nor was it the result of a favourable age constitution. . . . What, then, is the explanation ? There is but one answer: • Its[this ward's] people are careful in the observance of sanitary laws. Being Hebrews, they observe the strict Mosaic laws regarding cleanliness, the cooking of food, habits of eating, &c."
The writer disputes in the light of Continental statistics the generalisations which have been based on the observation of East London that a great city tends to create a submerged tenth, a degenerate and dying out residuum.
Much also may be expected from the tendency of urban populations to spread into suburbs. Against the danger of physical and also moral deterioration are to be set the social and intellectual advantages of urban life which Mr. Weber rates very high.
“We may hope in time to see the great cities exercise as noble a domination in the world of thought as was maintained by the Athens of Pericles and Eschylus."
F. Y. EDGEWORTH
Introduzione alla Economia Mathematica. F. VIRGILII et C.
GARIBALDI. (Milan : Hæpli.) 1899. Pp. 210.
This little book appears to us to bid fair for the distinction of being the most serviceable introduction to mathematical economics. The authors cover the whole ground, algebra and analytical geometry as well as the differential calculus. Their treatment of the subject is at once sufficiently extensive and not too intensive. They practise that economy of instruction which characterises the successful "coach” who communicates just the minimum of knowledge which is required for the purpose in hand. The exposition of mathematical formulæ is introduced by some valuable reflections on their application to economics. As to the efficiency of the new method the authors take up a just position between a crude scepticism and a
" fetichism." The introduction is enhanced by a short bibliography of writers on the subject and critical notices of some of them. The criticisms seem to us in the main judicious. We are naturally disposed to make some exception in favour of the present writer, to whom there is attributed inordinate disputatiousness. But we shall not run the risk of seeming to deserve this imputation by disputing it.
F. Y. EDGEWORTH
Economics. By EDWARD THOMAS DEVINE, Ph.D. (New York
and London: Macmillan. 1898.)
The writings of economists may be divided into two main classes between which, let us hasten to add, there is no distinction other than that of degree. The one class consists mainly of truisms, the other mainly of paradoxes. The paradoxical is usually the most agreeable reading, but the other is more useful. Dr. Devine's belongs to the class which deals principally in truisms, but it has a character of its own which redeems it from banality, and the origin of which is
perhaps suggested by the reference to Professor Pattén as a “prince of teachers. As readers of the works of the “prince of teachers” would expect, it endeavours to start from deeper principles than the ordinary elementary or general treatise. So we begin with “ the Economic Man," "the Economic Environment," and "the Social Conditions of an Economic Society.” The character of the Economic Man is drawn in quite alluring colours : he has a feeling of personal independence, of confidence in his ability to earn his living, a sense of security in the continued public appreciation of the services which he can render. He has an “unwillingness to take for personal use any wealth which he has not earned. He would not steal, even if the laws did not prohibit it. He will refuse to accept presents, except as courtesies which will in some way be reciprocated. He will accept the highest possible reward for his own labour, because that is the law of his society, and he willingly sees others exact similar terms of exchange; but if he were to find himself in a position to pocket wealth belonging to others, he would reject the opportunity, insisting upon such social rearrangements as would restore the wealth to its rightful owners.” It is easy to laugh, but is not every teacher worth his salt obliged constantly to remind his class that the proper working of the economic machine requires the prevalence of at least common honesty, if not also of a very considerable amount of gentlemanly feeling? To those of us who were brought up on the old watertight-compartment political economy, divided into production, distribution, and so on, the arrangement of the rest of Dr. Devine's chapters has the rather casual and disorderly look of most modern treatises. It is curious that there seems at present no perceptible tendency towards the general adoption of any particular scheme of arrangement. It seems a little strange to find “the organisation of industry” long after “the distribution of products,” and immediately after “ the organisation of credit."
Perhaps the most interesting chapters are those entitled “ Propositions concerning Industry" and "Restatement of Familiar Principles." Some of the propositions" contrast strangely with the old paradoxes. We feel a little like a certain proverbial grandmother when we are taught (in italics) that “scientific discoverers and inventors have a place in the industrial organisation.” But the propositions are
a not all of this character, and it is difficult to accept the one which states that "capital is a result of serial methods of production, is valued because of forethought, and is preserved by abstinence.” Dr. Devine's attempt here and elsewhere to introduce the Austrian theory of capital is not very happy. He tells us that when Mill says capital is the result of saving, he uses the word saving in a technical sense, denoting not necessarily abstinence or privation, but merely “excess of production over consumption.” It is difficult to see why this sense should be described as technical. In ordinary speech, to "save $100 a year" means to have a clear income of £100 a year in excess of expen. diture. To argue for a page or two that "there has been no necessity
for saving as an act of production” is beating the air. Nobody ever said saving was an act of production. Under normal conditions, Dr. Devine says, "the increase of capital involves no reduction in the quantity of present goods produced.” Obviously this may or may not be the case.
If the income is already larger than the expenditure of the individual or community, the capital will increase without any reduction in the quantity of present goods produced. If, on the other hand, the expenditure is at present equal to or greater than the income, it is necessary that, before the capital can be increased, either the income must be made greater or the expenditure made smaller, and the second alternative, a reduction of expenditure or “present goods" is generally possible. In the “Re-statement of Familiar Principles" we find the absurd proposition industry is limited by capital,” which any intelligent person can see is contradicted by the whole history of the world, re-stated as if it were an obvious truth. The scanty page devoted to its explanation amounts to little more than several re-assertions. What can be more untrue than to assert that “industry cannot be carried on until the materials of industry and the means of support for those who are to engage in it have been provided”? It almost tempts us to wish that Dr. Devine might some day be shipwrecked on an uninhabited coast where no capital had been provided for him. He would soon find his industry unlimited.
Sul Bilancio dello Stato. By E. MASĖ-DARI. (Turin: Bocca.
This work shows a great advance in point of form when compared with the author's Imposta Progressiva. Signor Masė-Dari has profited by criticism and now presents his material in a neat and workmanlike manner. Avoiding the faults of undue repetition and unnecessary references, he has put together, in a volume of moderate size, the more important facts of budgetary legislation and the principles that govern it. And the subject, it must be confessed, is one that is worthy of careful examination. The formal rules that control the granting of funds for the public service are of high importance as restraints on the action of political parties, and as helping to form a true constitutional sentiment.
In an opening chapter the author briefly sketches the origin and development of the system of finance now established in European countries, in which, as he points out, Italians have rendered signal service. He next shows how the financial system is naturally correlated with the economic arrangements of the society. A series of chapters then supplies a convenient account of the several stages through which the budget has to pass, or what may be called its “ life history.” All, or nearly all, the problems familiar to students of finance are discussed in the course of this exposition. Thus, the question of whether the budget should deal only with cash, or