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J.-B. Say's 1803 Treatise and the Coordination of Economic Activity

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  • Hopp, Stefan
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    Abstract

    Although historians of economic thought emphasize J.-B. Say's contributions to utility theory, the structure of the subject matter of economics, entrepreneur theory and the construction of the "law of markets," they rarely appreciate what Say accomplished in the first edition of the Traité d'Économie Politique. Only in chapters 21 and 22 of his 1803 Treatise, however, does Say sketch business firms as institutions that create and operate markets. In doing so, he essentially provides the basis for a non-walrasian concept of the coordination problem of a decentralized economic system. Thus, concerning Adam Smith's metaphor of the "invisible hand," Say ought to be considered as the first theorist to introduce into economic literature what Robert W. Clower called the "visible fingers" of the "invisible hand." --

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group in its series BERG Working Paper Series with number 47.

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    Date of creation: 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:bamber:47

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    Keywords: Invisible Hand; General Equilibrium Theory; Jean-Baptiste Say; Market Maker; Say's Law; Des Débouchés;

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    1. Bernd Hayo & Matthias Wrede, 2003. "Fiscal Equalisation: Principles and an Application to the European Union," CESifo Working Paper Series 845, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Malaj, Arben & Mema, Fatmir, 2003. "Strategic privatisation: Its achievements and challenges," BERG Working Paper Series 41, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
    3. Szüle, Borbála, 2003. "Inside financial conglomerates: Effects in the Hungarian pension fund markets," BERG Working Paper Series 42, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
    4. Wrede, Matthias, 1999. "A note on reliefs for traveling expenses to work," BERG Working Paper Series 30, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
    5. Kremer, Jana, 1999. "Arbeitslosigkeit und Steuerpolitik," BERG Working Paper Series 32, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
    6. Matthias Wrede, 2000. "Shared Tax Sources and Public Expenditures," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 163-175, March.
    7. Treier, Volker, 1999. "Unemployment in reforming countries: Causes, fiscal impacts and the success of transformation," BERG Working Paper Series 29, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
    8. Wrede, Matthias, 1999. "Mobility and reliefs for traveling expenses to work," BERG Working Paper Series 33, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
    9. Nusser, Michael, 1999. "The implications of wage structure rigidity on human capital accumulation, economic growth and unemployment: A Schumpeterian approach to endogenous growth theory," BERG Working Paper Series 28, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
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