David Ricardo

Economist, Academic

1772 – 1823

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Who was David Ricardo?

David Ricardo was a British political economist. He was one of the most influential of the classical economists, along with Thomas Malthus, Adam Smith, and James Mill. He began his professional life as a broker and financial market speculator. He amassed a considerable personal fortune, largely from financial market speculation and, having retired, bought a seat in the U.K. Parliament. He held his parliamentary seat for the last four years of his life. Perhaps his most important legacy is his theory of comparative advantage, which suggests that a nation should concentrate solely on those industries in which it is most internationally competitive while abandoning other industries and trading with other countries to obtain products which are no longer produced nationally. In essence, Ricardo promoted the idea of extreme industry specialisation by nations, to the point of dismantling competitive and profitable national industries. Ricardo's theory of Comparative Advantage attempted to prove, using simple mathematics, that industry specialization and international trade always produce positive results.

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Born
Apr 18, 1772
London
Also known as
  • Рікардо Давид
  • Davidas Rikardas
  • 大卫·李嘉图
  • Рикардо, Давид
Spouses
Children
Ethnicity
  • Sephardi Jews
  • Portuguese in the United Kingdom
Nationality
  • United Kingdom
Profession
Died
Sep 11, 1823
Gatcombe Park

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

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