British army officer and owner of the influential Globe newspaper. Torrens led the Anti-Bullionists during the Bullionist Debate of the 1810s but later did a virtual 180° turn to join the side of the Currency School in the Banking-Currency School Debate of the 1840s.
Robert Torrens was an independent discoverer of the Ricardo’s principle of ‘comparative advantage’ in international trade (albeit a promoter of ‘reciprocal tariffs’, rather than unilateral free trade). Torrens was also a co-discoverer of the Ricardian theory of differential rent, although, in later editions, recanted the Malthusian population doctrine on which it was partly based. Torrens remained a consistent critic of the labor theory of value.
Major Works of Robert Torrens
– The Economist Refuted, 1808
– An Essay on Money and Paper Currency, 1812
– An Essay on the External Corn Trade, 1815
– An Essay on the Production of Wealth, 1821
– Letters on Commercial Policy, 1833
– On Wages and Combination, 1834
– The Principles and Practical Operation of Sir Robert Peel’s Bill of 1844, 1844