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Retrospectives: An Early Supply-Side-Demand-Side Controversy: Petty, Law, Cantillon

  • John Berdell

Early modern Europe in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries witnessed an unprecedented increase in the rate of economic growth, and governments entertained a wide range of proposals aimed at developing and harnessing foreign trade and emerging financial markets. In his magisterial survey of foreign trade doctrine titled Studies in the Theory of International Trade (1936), Jacob Viner pointed out that enlightened authors of that time were often nonbullionist mercantilists: they favored export promotion and import reduction not on the grounds that it would lead to an accumulation of gold, but on the grounds that it would increase trade and employment. My focus here is on how some key economists of this time period—William Petty, John Law, and Richard Cantillon—adumbrated disputes between supply-side and demand-side macroeconomics that have continued to the present day.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.24.4.207
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 24 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (Fall)
Pages: 207-17

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:24:y:2010:i:4:p:207-17
Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.24.4.207
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  1. François R. Velde, 2007. "John Law's System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 276-279, May.
  2. Anthony Brewer, 2005. "Cantillon, Quesnay, and the Tableau Economique," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 05/577, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  3. Murphy, Antoin E., 1997. "John Law: Economic Theorist and Policy-maker," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198286493, March.
  4. Stone, Richard, 1986. "Nobel Memorial Lecture 1984: The Accounts of Society," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 1(1), pages 5-28, January.
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