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Market and pricing mechanism in pre-classical literature


  • Islahi, Abdul Azim


Western literature on the history of economic thought seldom pays attention to the contribution of scholars from the other regions on different economic issues, as if they have nothing to offer on the subject. The same happened when Schumpeter remarked "as regards the theory of the mechanism of pricing, there is very little to report before the middle of the eighteenth century". The fact is that considerable ideas on market and pricing mechanism existed long before this period. The paper analyzes the concept of market and pricing mechanism in pre-classical period as developed by the scholars of the West Asian region. In this connection the following thinkers have been chosen to discuss their ideas: Abu Yusuf (731-798 AD) , Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (l058-1111 AD), Ibn Taimiyah (1263-1328 AD), and Ibn Khaldun (1332-1404 AD). It also compares their ideas with those of Western writers of that period. Views of the writers cited in this paper show that they had a clear notion of the working of the market. They were trying to grapple with other related issues also. This warrants reconsideration of Schumpeter's statement about the mechanism of pricing before the middle of the eighteenth century. Especially, the contribution of the East, Middle East, Far East and other regions to economic thought has to be rehabilitated in the science of economics for the sake of doctrinal continuity as well as objectivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Islahi, Abdul Azim, 1991. "Market and pricing mechanism in pre-classical literature," MPRA Paper 22793, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 1991.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:22793

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    1. Daniel Halbheer & Sarah Niggli & Armin Schmutzler, 2006. "What Does it Take to Sell Environmental Policy? An Empirical Analysis of Referendum Data," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 33(4), pages 441-462, April.
    2. Ricardo Reis, 2006. "Inattentive Producers," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(3), pages 793-821.
    3. Jeffrey A. Dubin & D. Roderick Kiewiet & Charles Noussair, 1992. "Voting On Growth Control Measures: Preferences And Strategies," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(2), pages 191-213, July.
    4. Kahn, Matthew E & Matsusaka, John G, 1997. "Demand for Environmental Goods: Evidence from Voting Patterns on California Initiatives," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(1), pages 137-173, April.
    5. W. Viscusi, 2009. "Valuing risks of death from terrorism and natural disasters," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 191-213, June.
    6. Jaeseung Lee & Trudy Cameron, 2008. "Popular Support for Climate Change Mitigation: Evidence from a General Population Mail Survey," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 41(2), pages 223-248, October.
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    More about this item


    Pricing mechanism; market; demand; supply; preclassical economic thought; pre-Smithian economic ideas; Pricing mechanism in Islamic tradition.;

    JEL classification:

    • D46 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Value Theory
    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • B00 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - General - - - History of Economic Thought, Methodology, and Heterodox Approaches


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