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Audiobook: Principles of Economics Alfred Marshall

Audiobook: Principles of Economics by Alfred Marshall

Alfred Marshall (26 July 1842 – 13 July 1924), considered one of the founders of neoclassical economics,  was an outstanding economists of his time. His book, Principles of Economics (1890), was the dominant economic textbook in England for many years. It brings the ideas of supply and demand,marginal utility, and costs of production into a coherent whole.

Alfred Marshall   Alfred Marshall

Alfred Marshall Bio

Alfred Marshall

Table of Contents
Book I. Preliminary Survey.
I.I Introduction.
I.II The Substance of Economics.
I.III Economic Generalizations or Laws.
I.IV The Order and Aims of Economic Studies.
Book II. Some Fundamental Notions.
II.I Introductory.
II.II Wealth.
II.III Production. Consumption. Labour. Necessaries.
II.IV Income. Capital.
Book III. On Wants and Their Satisfaction.
III.I Introductory.
III.II Wants In Relation To Activities.
III.III Gradations Of Consumers’ Demand.
III.IV The Elasticity of Wants.
III.V Choice Between Different Uses of the Same Thing. Immediate and Deferred Uses.
III.VI Value and Utility.
Book IV. The Agents of Production. Land, Labour, Capital and Organization.
IV.I Introductory.
IV.II The Fertility of Land.
IV.III The Fertility of Land, Continued. The Tendency To Diminishing Return.
IV.IV The Growth of Population.
IV.V The Health and Strength of the Population.
IV.VI Industrial Training.
IV.VII The Growth of Wealth.
IV.VIII Industrial Organization.
IV.IX Industrial Organization, Continued. Division of Labour. The Influence of Machinery.
IV.X Industrial Organization, Continued. The Concentration of Specialized Industries in Particular Localities.
IV.XI Industrial Organization, Continued. Production on a Large Scale.
IV.XII Industrial Organization, Continued. Business Management.
IV.XIII Conclusion. Correlation of the Tendencies To Increasing and To Diminishing Return.
Book V. General Relations of Demand, Supply, and Value.
V.I Introductory. On Markets.
V.II Temporary Equilibrium of Demand and Supply.
V.III Equilibrium of Normal Demand and Supply.
V.IV The Investment and Distribution of Resources.
V.V Equilibrium of Normal Demand and Supply, Continued, With Reference To Long and Short Periods.
V.VI Joint and Composite Demand. Joint and Composite Supply.
V.VII Prime and Total Cost in Relation To Joint Products. Cost of Marketing. Insurance Against Risk. Cost of Reproduction.
V.VIII Marginal Costs in Relation To Values. General Principles.
V.IX Marginal Costs in Relation To Values. General Principles, Continued.
V.X Marginal Costs in Relation To Agricultural Values.
V.XI Marginal Costs in Relation To Urban Values.
V.XII Equilibrium of Normal Demand and Supply, Continued, With Reference To the Law of Increasing Return.
V.XIII Theory of Changes of Normal Demand and Supply in Relation To the Doctrine of Maximum Satisfaction.
V.XIV The Theory of Monopolies.
V.XV Summary of the General Theory of Equilibrium of Demand and Supply.
Book VI. The Distribution of National Income.
VI.I Preliminary Survey of Distribution.
VI.II Preliminary Survey of Distribution, Continued.
VI.III Earnings of Labour.
VI.IV Earnings of Labour, Continued.
VI.V Earnings of Labour, Continued.
VI.VI Interest of Capital.
VI.VII Profits of Capital and Business Power.
VI.VIII Profits of Capital and Business Power, Continued.
VI.IX Rent of Land.
VI.X Land Tenure.
VI.XI General View of Distribution.
VI.XII General Influences of Economic Progress.
VI.XIII Progress in Relation To Standards of Life.
Appendix A The Growth of Free Industry and Enterprise.
Appendix B The Growth of Economic Science.
Appendix C The Scope and Method of Economics.
Appendix D Uses of Abstract Reasoning in Economics.
Appendix E Definitions of Capital.
Appendix F Barter.
Appendix G The Incidence of Local Rates, With Some Suggestions As To Policy.
Appendix H Limitations of the Use of Statical Assumptions in Regard To Increasing Return.
Appendix I Ricardo’s Theory of Value.
Appendix J The Doctrine of the Wages-Fund.
Appendix K Certain Kinds of Surplus.
Appendix L Ricardo’s Doctrine As To Taxes and Improvements in Agriculture.
Mathematical Appendix (PDF file; requires free Acrobat Reader plugin) Also available: download of raw TeX ASCII file.
Enlarged art files for Mathematical Appendix
Footnotes (Books I-III)
Footnotes (Book IV)
Footnotes (Book V)
Footnotes (Book VI)
Footnotes (Appendices)
About the Book and Author

First published in 1890, Principles of Economics stands as Marshall’s most influential work. This book offers a general introduction to the study of economics, dealing mainly with normal conditions of industry, employment, and wages. It begins by isolating the primary relations of supply, demand, and price in regard to a particular commodity. Following Marshall’s study of science, history, and philosophy, he argues that, while fragmentary statistical hypotheses are used as temporary aids to dynamic economic concepts, the cornestone of economics must be that of a living force and movement, and its main concern must be with human beings who are impelled, for good or evil, to change and progress.

Preface to first edition (preview)

Economic conditions are constantly changing, and each generation looks at its own problems in its own way. In England, as well as on the Continent and in America, Economic studies are being more vigorously pursued now than ever before; but all this activity has only shown the more clearly that Economic science is, and must be, one of slow and continuous growth. Some of the best work of the present generation has indeed appeared at first sight to be antagonistic to that of earlier writers; but when it has had time to settle down into its proper place, and its rough edges have been worn away, it has been found to involve no real breach of continuity in the development of the science. The new doctrines have supplemented the older, have extended, developed, and sometimes corrected them, and often have given them a different tone by a new distribution of emphasis; but very seldom have subverted them.

The present treatise is an attempt to present a modern version of old doctrines with the aid of the new work, and with reference to the new problems, of our own age. Its general scope and purpose are indicated in Book I.; at the end of which a short account is given of what are taken to be the chief subjects of economic inquiry, and the chief practical issues on which that inquiry has a bearing. In accordance with English traditions, it is held that the function of the science is to collect, arrange and analyse economic facts, and to apply the knowledge, gained by observation and experience, in determining what are likely to be the immediate and ultimate effects of various groups of causes; and it is held that the Laws of Economics are statements of tendencies expressed in the indicative mood, and not ethical precepts in the imperative. Economic laws and reasonings in fact are merely a part of the material which Conscience and Common-sense have to turn to account in solving practical problems, and in laying down rules which may be a guide in life.

See also: The wealth of nations by Adam Smith (Audiobook)

Funny videos about economics and accounting

Humour: Principles of Economics and The Audit

Principles of economics

Presented at the AAAS humor session, February 16, 2007.

Monty Python – The Audit

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(A small board meeting. An accountant stands up and reads…)

Accountant (Michael Palin): Lady Chairman, sir, shareholders, ladies and gentlemen. I have great pleasure in announcing that owing to a cutback on surplus expenditure of twelve million Canadian dollars, plus a refund of seven and a half million Deutschmarks from the Swiss branch, and in addition adding the debenture preference stock of the three and three quarter million to the directors’ reserve currency account of seven and a half million, plus an upward expenditure margin of eleven and a half thousand lira, due to a rise in capital investment of ten million pounds, this firm last year made a complete profit of a shilling.

Chairman (Graham Chapman): A shilling Wilkins?

Accountant: Er, roughly, yes sir.

Chairman: Wilkins, I am the Chairman of a multi-million pound corporation and you are a very new chartered accountant. Isn’t it possible there may have been some mistake?

Accountant: Well that’s very kind of you sir, but I don’t think I’m ready to be Chairman yet.

Board Member (John Cleese): Wilkins, Wilkins. This shilling, is it net or gross?

Accountant: It’s British sir.

Chairman: Yes, has tax been paid on it?

Accountant: Yes, this is after tax. Owing to the rigorous bite of the income tax five pence of a further sixpence was swallowed up in tax.

Board Member: Five pence of a further sixpence?

Accountant: (eagerly) Yes sir.

Chairman: Five pence of a further sixpence?

Accountant: That’s right sir.

Chairman: Then where is the other penny?

Accountant: Er…

Board Member: That makes you a penny short Wilkins. Where is it?

Accountant: Erm…

Chairman: Wilkins?

Accountant: (in tears) I embezzled it sir.

Chairman: What all of it?

Accountant: Yes all of it.

Board Member: You naughty person.

Accountant: It’s my first. Please be gentle with me.

Chairman: I’m afraid it’s my unpleasant duty to inform you that you’re fired.

Accountant: Oh please, please.

Chairman: No, out!

Accountant: (crying) Oh… (he leaves)

Chairman: Yes, there’s no place for sentiment in big business.

(He goes over to a wall plaque ‘There is no place for sentiment in Big Business’. He turns it over. On the back it says ‘He’s right you know’.)

Bishop (Terry Jones): (to Chairman) Oh you’re no fun anymore.

(Camel Spotting man comes running in shouting.)

Spotter (Eric Idle): I heard that. Who said that?

All: (pointing at the bishop) He did! He did!

Bishop: No I didn’t.

All: Ooh!

Spotter: Right!

(Shot of the bishop bound and gagged and tied across a railway line.)

Voice Over (Eric Idle): Here is the address to complain to…

(Caption on screen : ‘MR ALBERT SPIM, I,OOO,OO8 LONDON ROAD, OXFORD’ But he reads:)

Voice Over: The Royal Frog Trampling Institute, 16 Rayners Lane, London, W.C. Fields. I’ll just repeat that…


Voice Over: Tristram and Isolde Phillips, 7.30 Covent Garden Saturday, near Sunday, and afterwards at the Inigo Jones Fish Emporium.

(Cut to Jewish figure.)

Jewish Figure (Michael Palin): And they want to put the licence fee up?

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