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The Contrasting Theories of Industrialization of Francois Quesnay and Adam Smith

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  • Eltis, Walter

Abstract

Francois Quesnay regarded industry as "sterile," and argued that proindustrial government policies reduced population and undermined government finances, while Adam Smith saw immense benefits in the div ision of labor that could only be exploited in industry. Their theories are explained from the original texts, where both advocated that the balance between agriculture and industry should be left to market forces: Quesnay did not support agricultural protection, while Smith did not support infant industry protection. Quesnay's argument that it undermines government finances to tax a surplus-yielding agriculture in order to subsidize surplus-absorbing industries is one that many developing countries that are growing disappointingly slowly could profit from. Copyright 1988 by Royal Economic Society.

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  • Eltis, Walter, 1988. "The Contrasting Theories of Industrialization of Francois Quesnay and Adam Smith," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(2), pages 269-288, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:40:y:1988:i:2:p:269-88
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Akbar Noman, 1991. "Industrial Development and Efficiency in Pakistan: A Revisionist Overview," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 30(4), pages 849-861.

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