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Although the expression economy is named after a book contributed to
Aristotle it was still all Greek to him. Later Jean Baptiste Colbert,
1619-1683 French controller general of finances under Louis XIV (the sun
king) advocated state control of the economy and dogmatic
mercantilism. Although opposed later by enlightenment social thinkers and
the physiocratic clique, a good part of the State-corporatist system he
instituted, what became known as "Colbertisme", was to last at least until
well after the French Revolution.
Adam Smith's "An Inquiry into the Nature and Cause of the Wealth of Nations"
Jean-Baptiste Say (1767-1832) with his 'loi des débouchés' interpreted by Keynes as: "supply creates its own demand", and his emphasis on the entrepreneur, but it was Cambridge that became the first major school.
Other teachers at Cambridge followed and wrote the current economic textbooks of their time. The book titles were not very imaginative and sounded like:
1817 David Ricardo "The Principles of Political Economy and Taxation"
1848 John Stuart Mill "Principles of Political Economy with Some of Their Applications to Social Philosophy"
1890 Alfred Marshall "Principles of Economics"
But then the Keynesian revolution followed and nothing was like it before. Although 1948 the prominent textbook was written by MIT Keynesian Paul Anthony Samuelson: "Economics", other schools emerged besides Cambridge. A good example is F.A. Hayek who came from Vienna to England and then went to Chicago.
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Last modified: April 01, 2002