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Ricardo, David

David Ricardo (1772–1823) was a British political economist who made his fortune from speculation in the financial markets and later was a member of Parliament. He conceived what has become known as the Theory of Comparative Advantage and was one of the most influential political economists and proponents of international free trade.

Ricardo was born on April 18, 1772, the third of the 17 children of Abraham Israel Ricardo, a successful Jewish stockbroker who had moved to London from Amsterdam in the Dutch Republic. In London, Abraham married Abigail Delvalle, the daughter of a tobacco and snuff merchant. When David was only 14 he started working for his father, but seven years later, when he married Priscilla Anne Wilkinson, the daughter of a prominent Quaker surgeon, ...

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