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Benjamin Franklin: A Liberal Practitioner of Political Economy

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  • Frank Petrella

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    (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)

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    Abstract

    Few eighteenth century practitioners of political economy have been as misunderstood or stereotyped as Benjamin Franklin. His economic essays which spanned a sixty-one year period (1729-1790), still create disagreement among scholars even on the doctrinal origins of Franklin's economic ideas. If Franklin was not a mercantilist, neither was he exclusively a physiocrat nor an early classical economist, especially if both of these schools or early "research programs" in economics are viewed as mutually exclusive. As this paper will show, there was a unity and consistency in Franklin's political economy, and it reflected the content and liberal character of physiocratic and early classical thought.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 9404.

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    Length: 54 pages
    Date of creation: Sep 1994
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hcx:wpaper:9404

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    Keywords: Benjamin Franklin; economic history; history of economic thought; physiocrats; political economy;

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