John Law: Economic Theorist and Policy-Maker

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John Law (1671-1729) is most widely known outside economics as a rake, duellist and gambler. This intellectual biography of the Scottish-born economic theorist and policy-maker shows him to have been a significant economic theorist when economic conceptualization was very much at an embryonic stage. It also explains his ultimate failure.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In this book [Murphy] corrects mistaken attributions and also delivers the most extended and comprehensive analysis of Law's thinking, delineating its evolution and ultimately giving it pride of place in the genealogy of Keynesian thought...This work fills a great hole in the English-language literature and represents a mandatory gateway for historians and economists alike"—Journal of Political Economy
Murphy economics, U. of Dublin says that though Law 1671-1729 is best remembered as a rake, duelist, and gambler, he also left a remarkable legacy of economic concepts from a period when the field was in an embryonic stage. He points out Law's modern terminology and his advocacy of banknotes and credit, and sets his ideas in the context of Europe's first stock market boom and bust, the failure of the Mississippi System he conceived, and the South Sea Bubble. Law's impotence as a policy maker Murphy attributes to the entrenched interests of financiers and their aristocratic backers as well as to theoretical flaws in his vision. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198286493
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 10/2/1997
  • Pages: 408
  • Lexile: 1570L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

University of Dublin
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Table of Contents

List of Plates
Abbreviations for Principal Sources
1 Introduction 1
2 Law's Writings and his Critics 8
3 Law's Background 14
4 Duelling Beaux 20
5 The 'Gambling' Banker 35
6 Metamorphosis: John Law the Economist 45
7 The Edinburgh Environment in 1705 67
8 Money and Trade 76
9 The Conceptualizatiun of the System 105
10 France 1714-1715 123
11 The Establishment of the General Bank 149
12 The Establishment of the Company of the West 164
13 The Slow Development of the System 173
14 The Rise and Rise of the Mississippi Company, 1719 188
15 A Specie-less France, 1720 213
16 The Lull before the Storm 230
17 The Measures of 21 May 1720 244
18 Law the Improviser 265
19 Requiem for the Banknote 293
20 The Possibility of a Recall to France 312
21 Death in Venice 323
Notes 335
Bibliography 367
Chronological Index of Arrets, Edits, etc. 379
General Index 381
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