19 Apr, 2021

David Ricardo – a classic of political economy

David Ricardo was born on April 19, 1772 in London, into a family of bankers. Just before the birth of their son, they emigrated to England. David studied in Holland and, at the age of 14, began to help his father conduct commercial transactions on the London Stock Exchange.

At the age of 21, he quarreled with his Jewish father over religious beliefs. Intending to marry a Protestant Abigail Delvoll, he renounced Judaism. For this act, his father deprived him of his content, but Ricardo was not discouraged for long – by the age of 25 he had amassed a decent fortune on the stock exchange of several million.

Having lost interest in exchange operations, David became acquainted with the ideas of Adam Smith and followed his example in the fight against the landed aristocracy, but at the same time he became one of his biggest opponents.

David Ricardo is the author of many works in which he analyzes the economic processes of his time. The largest of these is the book “Principles of Political Economy and Taxation”, written in 1817. Ricardo believed that the value of products is determined by the amount of labor that is required to produce them, and based on this idea, he created the theory of distribution, which explained how this value is distributed among different classes in society.

In 1821, David Ricardo founded England’s first political economy club.

David Ricardo died at the age of 51 on September 11, 1823 in Gloucestershire, Great Britain.