Born 1780 in Ireland; died May 27, 1864, in London. British political economist. Member of the Royal Society (1818).
In his works, dealing primarily with trade and the circulation of money, Torrens departed from D. Ricardo’s labor theory of value in favor of the vulgar economists’ conception of production costs. He held that the source of profit is not the exploitation of wage laborers but the selling of goods at prices exceeding their true value. As an exponent of the quantity theory of money, Torrens belonged to the currency school, whose ideas formed the basis of R. Peel’s bank act of 1844.
Torrens was an advocate of free trade.