IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Kautilya's Arthashastra: A Neglected Precursor to Classical Economics


  • Charles Waldauer

    (School of Management, Widener University)

  • William J. Zahka

    (School of Management, Widener University)

  • Surendra Pal

    (School of Management, Widener University)


This paper demonstrates that Kautilya, a great Indian Philosopher-statesman and contemporary of Aristotle, and whose work was lost for more than 1400 years, anticipated classical economic thought by some 2,000 years in the areas of international trade, taxation and a labour theory of value. This aspect of Kautilya's philosophy of government has been overlooked by historians of economic thought and we believe that his contributions should receive appropriate and overdue recognition.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles Waldauer & William J. Zahka & Surendra Pal, 1996. "Kautilya's Arthashastra: A Neglected Precursor to Classical Economics," Indian Economic Review, Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, vol. 31(1), pages 101-108, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:dse:indecr:v:35:y:1996:i:1:p:101-108

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Marinko Škare, 2013. "The missing link: From Kautilya’s The Arthashastra to modern economics," The Journal of Philosophical Economics, Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies, The Journal of Philosophical Economics, vol. 6(2), May.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • B1 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925
    • B3 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals


    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:dse:indecr:v:35:y:1996:i:1:p:101-108. 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: (Pami Dua). 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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.