Thomas Nixon Carver

Thomas Nixon Carver, American Economic History

Professor T. N. Carver (b. 1865) in his Distribution of Wealth (1904), calls a halt to one-sided emphasis of psychology, and points to the economic environment factor. The book contains a noteworthy restatement of the law of diminishing returns, and an able criticism of the Austrian ideas on interest, applicable in a

great degree to Fisher and Clark. To Carver the question con­cerning interest is, "Why is this income more than sufficient to keep the supply of capital intact, or to replace it?" As in the case of value, cost and productivity are synthesized. Unless the supply of capital were in some way limited, its marginal productivity would disappear; and these limits are the cost of making capital goods, and the sacrifice of waiting, including an element of incalculable risk.

There is a sense, Carver holds, in which rent does not enter prices as wages do, for land is separable from the owner and does not have to be persuaded to work by some offer of advan­tage. In this connection, a tendency to treat the problem of distribution from the standpoint of the entrepreneur and his expenses is to be noted.
Professor Carver laid more stress upon the Malthusian theory of population in connection with the theory of wages than did the preceding writers.

In Carver's thought there is a strong strain of materialism.