Debunking Mill's "Fourth Fundamental Proposition on Capital"

Roy H Grieve

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J S Mill's enigmatic "Fourth Proposition on Capital" has been brought to our notice by Steven Kates (2015). Kates takes a positive view of the proposition. Our focus is not, however, on Kates, but on the aforesaid proposition. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate, via close examination of Mill's explanatory examples, just how unsatisfactory are its foundations. We conclude that the doubters are justified: Mill's Fourth Proposition is, demonstrably, a muddle.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationGlasgow
PublisherUniversity of Strathclyde
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • fourth proposition on capital
  • derived demand
  • Say's law
  • J.S.Mill

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