IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Neglect of Bastiat's School by English-Speaking Economists: A Puzzle Resolved


  • Salerno Joseph T.

    (Pace University)


The French liberal school, the school of Frédéric Bastiat, thoroughly dominated economics in France for most of the nineteenth century. In addition, the school exercised a profound influence on the development of nineteenth-century economic theory outside France, particularly in countries such as Italy, Germany and Austria where its merits were recognized by eminent Continental marginalists including Böhm-Bawerk, Cassel, Wicksell and Pareto. In the United States, Great Britain and Australia, also, the school inspired a number of important economic theorists and movements such as William Stanley Jevons and the American catallactic tradition. Yet despite its significant international influence, the school has been almost completely neglected by Englishspeaking economists and doctrinal scholars after World War One. In this paper, I suggest that the resolution of this puzzle lies in a conjunction of peculiar institutional and doctrinal circumstances that accompanied the professionalization of economics in France, Great Britain and the United States.Lécole libérale française, celle de Frédéric Bastiat, domina totalement la pensée économique en France pendant une majeure partie du dixneuvième siècle. De plus, lécole exerça une influence profonde sur le développement de la théorie économique à lextérieur de la France, en particulier dans des pays tels que lAllemagne et lAutriche. Dans ces pays, les mérites de lécole furent reconnus par des marginalistes continentaux aussi éminents que Böhm-Bawerk, Cassel, Wicksell et Pareto. Lécole inspira aussi un nombre important déconomistes et de mouvements aux Etats-Unis, en Angleterre et en Australie tels que William Stanley Jevons et la tradition catallactique américaine. Néanmoins, en dépit de cette influence internationale, lécole a été presque totalement négligée par les économistes de langue anglaise et par les penseurs doctrinaux après la première guerre mondiale. Dans cet article, lauteur suggère que la solution à cette énigme se trouve dans la conjonction de circonstances institutionnelles et doctrinales particulières qui accompagna la professionnalisation de léconomie en France, en Grande- Bretagne et aux Etats-Unis.

Suggested Citation

  • Salerno Joseph T., 2001. "The Neglect of Bastiat's School by English-Speaking Economists: A Puzzle Resolved," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 11(2), pages 1-45, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:jeehcn:v:11:y:2001:i:2:n:13

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: For access to full text, subscription to the journal or payment for the individual article is required.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ekelund, Robert Jr. & Hebert, Robert F., 1973. "Public economics at the Ecole des Ponts et Chaussees: 1830-1850," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 241-256, July.
    2. Martin S. Staum, 1987. "The Institute Economists: From Physiocracy to Entrepreneurial Capitalism," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 19(4), pages 525-550, Winter.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bpj:jeehcn:v:11:y:2001:i:2:n:13. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Golla). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.