The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Classical Production Theories

  • Giorgio Gilibert
Reference work entry


A theory of production cannot be said to have existed before the middle of the 18th century. The very word production was previously used in its narrow etymological sense (from the Latin producere, to bring forth) of giving birth to new material objects; and it was therefore normally confined to the fruits of the earth. ‘When we speak of it’, writes Daniel Defoe, ‘as the Effect of Nature ‘tis Product or Produce; when as the Effect of Labour ‘tis Manufacture’ (1728, p. 1).


Advances Agriculture Babbage, C. Capital accumulation Circular flow Classical economics Classical production theories Division of labour Factory system Increasing returns Industrial Revolution Marginal revolution Marx, K. H. Net product Physiocracy Production Productive and Unproductive Inputs Quesnay, F. Rent Ricardo, D. Smith, A. Stationary State Surplus Technical change Tugan-Baranovsky, M. I. Ure, W. 

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giorgio Gilibert
    • 1
  1. 1.