2.4 — Thomas Malthus & The Population Principle — Class Content

Meeting Dates

Thursday, September 29, 2022


Today we cover Thomas Malthus, and his theory on population, and connect it to Classical Economics.


Required Readings:

  • Thomas Malthus & Essay on the Principle of Population in Reader
  • start Ch.5 “Ricardo and Malthus” in Landreth & Colander
  • start Ch.3 “Population, Diminishing Returns and Rent” in Blaug

Questions to Help Your Reading

  • What are Malthus’s two assumptions and what are their importance for his conclusions?

  • What is the difference between population growth and growth in agriculture?

  • What are Malthus’s “checks” against population?


Below, you can find the slides in two formats. Clicking the image will bring you to the html version of the slides in a new tab. The lower button will allow you to download a PDF version of the slides.


You can type h to see a special list of viewing options, and type o for an outline view of all the slides.

I suggest printing the slides beforehand and using them to take additional notes in class (not everything is in the slides)!


Download as PDF


Participation/Discussion Board Posts Due 8 PM Fri Sep 30

This week’s graded discussion is worth 5 points, and can be a combination of discussion in class, and/or posts on the Blackboard Discussion Board by 8 PM this Friday September 30.

Tournament Votes

The first round of the Pre-Classical division of the “Most Interesting Economist in History” tournament is live. Please post your votes in the discussion board.