The Genesis of Macroeconomics: New Ideas from Sir William Petty to Henry Thornton

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This is a book about the discovery of the great macroeconomic concepts and ideas by a group of very exciting people between the late seventeenth and early nineteenth century. The writers concerned included the anatomist Sir William Petty; John Law a convicted Scottish murderer who became Prime Minister of France; Richard Cantillon, a multi-millionaire banker apparently murdered in London in 1734; the Scottish philosopher, David Hume; the French writer, François Quesnay, personal physician to the King's mistress, Madame de Pompadour; the former seminarian and future Prime Minister of France, Anne Robert Jacques Turgot; the author of the Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith; and Henry Thornton, who, along with William Wilberforce, was instrumental in having Parliament legislate against the slave trade. The book shows how these economic writers discovered many of the key concepts of macroeconomic theory long before the term macroeconomics gained currency in the 1930s.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199543236
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 2/16/2009
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Antoin E. Murphy is an associate professor of economics and fellow of Trinity College Dublin. His previous works include Richard Cantillon: Entrepreneur and Economist (OUP, 1986) and John Law: Economic Theorist and Policy-maker (OUP, 1997). He is a joint managing editor of The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought. In 2001, the European Society of the History of Economic Thought awarded him the Jerôme Blanqui prize for the best published work on the history of economic thought resulting from his editing of Du Tot Histoire du Systême de John Law (1716-1720) published by I.N.E.D./P.U.F., Paris 2000.

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Table of Contents

List of Plates

List of Figures

1 Introduction: The Genesis of Macroeconomics 1

2 Sir William Petty: National Income Accounting 21

3 John Law: A New Monetary System 43

4 Richard Cantillon: Macroeconomic Modelling 73

5 David Hume: The Classical Theory of Money 95

6 Francois Quesnay: The Circular Flow of Income 119

7 Anne Robert Jacques Turgot: The Importance of Capital 133

8 Adam Smith: Land, Labour, Capital, and Social Cement 155

9 Henry Thornton: The Lender of Last Resort 189

10 Conclusion: New Ideas from Fascinating People 215

Index 227

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