Nassau William Senior

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Senior, Nassau William


Born Sept. 26, 1790, in Comptom, Berkshire; died June 4, 1864, in Kensington. English economist.

After graduating from Oxford University in 1815, Senior became a lawyer. He was a professor of political economy at Oxford from 1825 to 1830 and from 1847 to 1852. Senior held leadership positions on various government commissions on questions of labor in industry. His main work was An Outline of the Science of Political Economy (1836). Oversimplifying and distorting classical bourgeois political economy. Senior propounded an apologetic theory of profit, which he defined as compensation to the capitalist for his “abstention” from spending funds for nonproductive purposes. He attempted to provide theoretical justification for the impossibility of shortening the 11.5-hour workday, wrongfully asserting that profit is created only in the last hour of work. Therefore, shortening the workday would have an adverse effect on the country’s economic condition, since the entrepreneurs’ incentive for economic activity would disappear.


Three Lectures on the Rate of Wages.... London, 1830.
Letters on the Factory Act as It Affects the Cotton Manufacture. London, 1837.


Marx, K. Kapital, vols. 1–3. In K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vols. 23–25.
Marx, K. “Teorii pribavochnoi stoimosti” (vol. 4 of Kapital). Ibid., vol. 26.


References in periodicals archive ?
Second, Wu brings to light the works of some economists that are now neglected or forgotten, like Weatley, Blake, Bosanquet, Goshen, Bagehot, Laughlin, Nassau Senior, and John E.
John Vint, 'Harriet Martineau, Nassau Senior and Poor Law Reform'.
Leading credit for the policy change, however, is given by historians to Benthamites, not evangelicals: the two most influential members of the commission were Nassau Senior and Edwin Chadwick.
Greg, Nassau Senior, Walter Bagehot, and John Morley, all historians and political thinkers influential in their own day and still read by specialists wanting to understand something of the character of England during Victoria's reign.
310, Draft letter to the commissioners from Chadwick protesting policy, 1841; William Nassau Senior, Remarks on the Opposition to the Poor Law Amendment Bill, (London, 1841) p.
In 1832 he was employed by the Royal Commission on the Poor Laws and he and Nassau Senior, a leading economist, wrote the Commission's report, which led to the Act of Parliament of 1834.
But in a real sense those who died were also victims of ideas -- the ideas of political economists such as Adam Smith and Nassau Senior which guided the thinking of policy-makers in Whitehall on the matter of Famine relief and which were unsuited to the task of saving so many lives.
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