‘UNUSUAL SKILL’

Rent in modern economic theory: an essay in distribution.

Columbia University, 1903.

8vo, pp. vi, 128 + [2]; uncut and mostly unopened; margins of preliminary leaves brittle, recently rebound in boards; remains of original printed wrapper pasted down.

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First edition of Johnson's doctoral dissertation. This work ‘showed unusual skill in solving problems by the dexterous use of classification. Many thinkers, he said were impressed by economic developments which seemed to foretell a new monopolistic order of society. Actually, competition had simply changed its form. “Competition is less keen” he said “among industrial establishments which create one and the same kind of commodity; but it is far keener than formerly between industrial groups which create, not like commodities, but commodities yielding like amounts of satisfaction, from which the consumer selects according to his estimates of utility and cost”’ (Dorfman).

See Dorfman, The Economic Mind in American Civilization III, 421.

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