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John BARTON

economist

John BARTON, economist.

Background

BARTON, John was born in 1789 in London, England.

Career

His fame arose from one incident: Ricardo’s reading of Barton’s Observations.. caused him to change his mind on the question of whether the introduction of machines could ever harm the working class. The third (1821) edition of Ricardo’s Principles includes a new chapter on machinery, incorporating Barton’s pessimistic analysis of the effects of machinery. Although Barton published several other pamphlets, his analysis never reached the same level of originality and his views were largely ignored.

His attempts to influence opinion through his political correspondence with the Duke of Richmond and his membership of the Statistical Society were similarly ineffective.