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Say's Law of Markets: What Did It Mean and Why Should We Care?

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  • Mark Blaug

    (University of Exeter)

Abstract

When the Classical economists asserted the "impossibility of general overproduction," or what we now call Say's Law of Markets, they had in mind not periodic crises or business cycles but secular stagnation. Could the capitalist system absorb the constant increases in output without breakdown from limits inherent in the system? Say's Law supplied an affirmative answer to the question: with flexible prices, the system is forever tending to full employment, full-capacity equilibrium. The issue of what was meant by Say's Law has been hopelessly misunderstood in modern times, first by a Keynesian reading but more by a Walrasian reading of the doctrine.

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File URL: http://college.holycross.edu/RePEc/eej/Archive/Volume23/V23N2P231_235.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Eastern Economic Association in its journal Eastern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 23 (1997)
Issue (Month): 2 (Spring)
Pages: 231-235

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Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:23:y:1997:i:2:p:231-235

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Postal: c/o Dr. Alexandre Olbrecht, The Anisfield School of Business 205, Ramapo College, 505 Ramapo Valley Road, Ramapo, New Jersey 07430, USA
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Web page: http://www.ramapo.edu/eea/journal.html
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Related research

Keywords: Business Cycles; Cycle; Employment; Full Employment; Prices; Stagnation;

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Cited by:
  1. William J. Baumol, 1999. "Retrospectives: Say's Law," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 195-204, Winter.
  2. Kakarot-Handtke, Egmont, 2013. "Say’s Law: A Rigorous Restatement," MPRA Paper 52550, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Vahabi, Mehrdad, 2003. "La contrainte budgétaire lâche et la théorie économique
    [Soft Budget Constraint and Economic Theory]
    ," MPRA Paper 17651, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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