Anderson, James, LL.D., born at Hermiston, near Edinburgh, 1739, died at West Ham, Essex, 15th October 1808. A practical farmer, employed by Pitt to survey the fisheries, Scottish rural economy owes much to him. Dr. Anderson first propounded the theory of rent, afterwards rehandled by Malthus and Ricardo. In his works, e.g., in his Observations on the National Industry of Scotland (vol. ii, pp. 208-9, published 1779, but written 1775), he says that rent is a premium for the cultivation of the richer soils, reducing the profits of the cultivators to an equality with those of the cultivators of the poorer.
He edited the Bee, Edinburgh, 1790-94, 18 vols. 8vo; -- Recreations in Agriculture, Natural History, etc., 1799-1902, 6 vols. 8vo, and wrote among other things: -- Inquiry into the Nature of the Corn Laws, with a View to the new Corn Bill proposed for Scotland, Edinburgh, 1777, 8vo (the earliest explanation of the theory of rent usually called after Ricardo; see also his Recreations, v. 401-28). -- Inquiry into the Causes that have hitherto Retarded the Advancement of Agriculture in Europe, Edinburgh, 1779, 8vo. -- Account of the Present State of the Hebrides and Western Coasts of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1785, 8vo. -- Essays Relating to Agriculture and Rural Affairs, 5th ed., London, 1800, 3 vols. 8vo -- Investigation of the Circumstances that have led to the Present Scarcity of Grain in Britain, 1801, 8vo (friendly to protection).