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Front Page Titles (by Subject) 202.: ricardo to malthus1 - The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. 7 Letters 1816-1818

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## 202.: ricardo to malthus1 - David Ricardo, The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. 7 Letters 1816-1818 [1816]

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The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, ed. Piero Sraffa with the Collaboration of M.H. Dobb (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2005). Vol. 7 Letters 1816-1818.

#### Part of: The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, 11 vols (Sraffa ed.)

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### ricardo to malthus1

#### My dear Sir

I am not in the least acquainted with the subject on which your papers2 treat, but that is no reason why I should not mention what appears to me defective. In page 8 you add ⅙ to the births for probable omissions and for deaths, but you do not tell your reader why these proportions are taken rather than ¼ or ⅓, nor can I discover on what grounds those numbers are chosen.1

You sometimes take averages from the known facts of certain years, but your averages are formed on an arithmetical ratio while your application is to a geometrical series. I submit whether this is correct.

If as you say in page 14 births are to burials as 47 to 30 and the mortality as 1 to 47 the addition to the population would be little more than instead of for out of every 1410 persons 30 would die and 47 be born and consequently there would be an increase of 17, but 1410 divided by 17 is 82.94 or 83 nearly, and therefore if 1410 gives an increase of 17 —9,287,000 will give an increase of 111,970 or 1,119,700 in ten years which will raise the population

 9,287,000 instead of 10,483,000 .— 1 119 700 10,406,700

In Page 16 the mortality is supposed to be as before 1 in 47 and the births to the population as 1 to 29½, and the population to be 9,287,000.—This latter sum divided by 29½ gives 314,813 the annual number of births, and divided by 47 gives 197595 the annual number of deaths, deduct one

 from the other 314813 gives 117218 for the annual increase 197595 117218
 2 In Additions (p. 21), the latter figure is obtained by taking 9,887,000 (the mean between the population of 1800 and that of 1810) instead of 9,287,000 (the population of 1800) as the basis for calculating the annual numbers of births and deaths during the interval. which in 10 years would be 1 172 180 which added to the former population of— 9 287 000 gives— 10,459,180 instead of 10,531,0002

I have marked in pages 35 and 36 some very trifling errors. These are all I can discover with the facts which are before me.—

#### Ever truly Yrs.

David Ricardo

[1 ]Addressed: ‘For / The Revd. T.R Malthus’—not passed through the post, being probably enclosed with Malthus’s papers.

MS at Albury.—Letters to Malthus, LIV.

[2 ]The MS or a proof of Additions to the Fourth and Former Editions of An Essay on the Principle of Population, &c. &c., London, Murray, 1817. Ricardo’s page-references do not agree with the pagination either of the separately published Additions or of vol. ii of the Essay, 5th ed., 1817.

[1 ]On p. 17 of Additions, Malthus gives reason for these estimates.