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The Social Economics of Jean-Baptiste Say

The Social Economics of Jean-Baptiste Say Book Reviews Galiani is mentioned once in the text [137] but not indexed), but they earlier stressed that Smith envisaged the pursuit of economic self-interest within a framework of law, religion, and custom. All that is distinctive about Say’s affirmation of the same ideas is thus its link with the idéologues. Say’s appreciation of the force of these ideas must have been enhanced, too, by his firsthand and terrifying experience of the abuse of state power under Robespierre and the other revolutionaries. That Say was an economist in a distinct French tradition, with its emphasis on utility, and not the mere popularizer of Adam Smith, is not, I think, any longer in dispute. But whether his approach to the legislative framework of markets, insofar as this had French roots, resulted in anything distinctive is not so clear. It seems fair to say that, for the most part, Say’s economics seem to have owed little to the idéologue background. Thus Forget accepts that the Traité could have been written by someone who had never been in contact with that background (120; cf. 127). The treatment of value merely stresses that markets clear quickly in the absence of destabilizing government http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png History of Political Economy Duke University Press

The Social Economics of Jean-Baptiste Say

History of Political Economy , Volume 33 (2) – Jun 1, 2001

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2001 by Duke University Press
ISSN
0018-2702
eISSN
1527-1919
DOI
10.1215/00182702-33-2-381
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Book Reviews Galiani is mentioned once in the text [137] but not indexed), but they earlier stressed that Smith envisaged the pursuit of economic self-interest within a framework of law, religion, and custom. All that is distinctive about Say’s affirmation of the same ideas is thus its link with the idéologues. Say’s appreciation of the force of these ideas must have been enhanced, too, by his firsthand and terrifying experience of the abuse of state power under Robespierre and the other revolutionaries. That Say was an economist in a distinct French tradition, with its emphasis on utility, and not the mere popularizer of Adam Smith, is not, I think, any longer in dispute. But whether his approach to the legislative framework of markets, insofar as this had French roots, resulted in anything distinctive is not so clear. It seems fair to say that, for the most part, Say’s economics seem to have owed little to the idéologue background. Thus Forget accepts that the Traité could have been written by someone who had never been in contact with that background (120; cf. 127). The treatment of value merely stresses that markets clear quickly in the absence of destabilizing government

Journal

History of Political EconomyDuke University Press

Published: Jun 1, 2001

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