AbstractThis paper is focused on the notion of wealth as used by different authors in different periods of time. The paper deals with the contrast between the notion of wealth shared by all major classical economists, particularly by Adam Smith, and the notion previously held by the Mercantilists (by which one nation’s gain is intended as another nation’s loss) or subsequently held by Irving Fisher and other Neoclassical economists(whereby the wealth of an individual is brought to centre stage in lieu of the wealth of society). After distinguishing, in Say’s footsteps, between “richesses naturelles” (the use values given by nature) and “richesses sociales” (the use values produced and reproduced by labour), the paper focuses on the classical notion of wealth as “richesses sociales” (the wealth of nations) and, more particularly, as the flow of final goods available in a period (and made possible by using up the intermediate goods inherited from a previous period) rather than the stock, however formed, of instrumental goods (let alone the value of this stock) owned by individuals at an instant of time (assets).
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 14713.
Date of creation: 1998
Date of revision: 15 Apr 2009
wealth; final goods; instrumental goods; flows; stocks;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- B12 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Classical (includes Adam Smith)
- B13 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Neoclassical through 1925 (Austrian, Marshallian, Walrasian, Stockholm School)
- B00 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - General - - - History of Economic Thought, Methodology, and Heterodox Approaches
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ferdinando Meacci, 1989. "Irving Fisher and the Classics on the Notion of Capital: Upheaval and Continuity in Economic Thought," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 21(3), pages 409-424, Fall.
- Lauderdale, James Maitland, 1819. "An Inquiry into The Nature and Origin of Public Wealth and into the Means and Causes of its Increase," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, edition 2, number lauderdale1819.
- Smith, Adam, 1776. "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number smith1776.
- Smith, Adam, 2008. "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations: A Selected Edition," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199535927 edited by Sutherland, Kathryn.
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