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More on Cantillon as a Proto-Austrian


  • Hülsmann Jörg Guido

    (Ludwig von Mises Institute)


Murray N. Rothbard presents Richard Cantillon as the true founding father of modern economic science. This note provides some criticism of Rothbard's thesis, but also further evidence in support of it. We show that Cantillon's Essai sur la nature du commerce en général pioneers the economic analysis of property relations, stressing that the demand of property owners determines the whole structure of production. Moreover, Cantillon anticipated the modern functional distinction of capitalists, workers, entrepreneurs, and governments according to their types of income. He also analysed to what extent the state profits from a high quantity of money; and he demonstrated that all results of government intervention are ephemeral and reversed by law of nature.Murray N. Rothbard présente Richard Cantillon comme le véritable père fondateur de la science économique moderne. La thèse de Rothbard est sujette à des critiques, mais à encore plus de soutien. L'article vise à démontrer que l'"Essai sur la nature du commerce en général" de Cantillon annonce l'analyse économique de la propriété; il insiste sur le fait que la demande des propriétaires détermine l'ensemble de la structure de production. De plus, Cantillon aurait, selon l'auteur, anticipé la distinction fonctionnelle moderne entre capitalistes, travailleurs, entrepreneurs et gouvernants selon leurs formes de revenus. Il avait aussi analysé dans quelle mesure l'Etat tire profit d'une offre élevée de monnaie et avait démontré que tous les résultats de l'intervention étatique sont éphémères et amenés à être contredits par la loi naturelle.

Suggested Citation

  • Hülsmann Jörg Guido, 2001. "More on Cantillon as a Proto-Austrian," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 11(4), pages 1-13, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:jeehcn:v:11:y:2001:i:4:n:7
    DOI: 10.2202/1145-6396.1036

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Murray N. Rothbard, 1995. "Economic Thought Before Adam Smith," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 377.
    2. Thornton Mark, 1998. "Richard Cantillon and the Origin of Economic Theory," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-14, March.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. ¿Es Richard Cantillon el Padre de la Economía?
      by Adrián Ravier in Punto de Vista Economico on 2012-05-28 23:46:14

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