The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd


  • Robert L. Heilbroner
Reference work entry


Wealth is a fundamental concept in economics – indeed, perhaps the conceptual starting point for the discipline. Despite its centrality, however, the concept of wealth has never been a matter of general consensus. Although wealth has not become a focus of heated controversy comparable to that of value (despite the fact that the two terms are inextricably conjoined, as we shall see), conceptions of wealth have clashed profoundly and even irreconcilably. The result has been a continuing discussion of deep importance for economics – not only for its intrinsic interest, but because it calls into question the very scope and content of the discipline itself.


Abstract labour Circulating capital Cost of production Exchange value Labour Marginal revolution Power Productive and unproductive labour Property Riches Scarcity Social stratification Stocks and flows Utility Value Wage differentials Wealth 

JEL Classifications

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert L. Heilbroner
    • 1
  1. 1.