The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Physiocracy

  • G. Vaggi
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-95189-5_1861

Abstract

The Physiocrats lived and worked in France in the middle of the 18th century. The name derives from the title of a collection of some of the most important writings of their master François Quesnay, Physiocratie, ou constitution naturelle du gouvernement le plus avantageux au genre humain published in 1767 by P.S. Du Pont de Nemours. The term Physiocracy indicates the importance ascribed by these authors to natural forces, and derives from the Greek: phýsis, nature, and kràtos, power. The Physiocrats can be regarded as the first school of economists. They acted as an organized group of thinkers who intended to influence the French government’s economic policy. They were accused of being sectarian because of their strict allegiance to the economic theories and opinions of their master, Quesnay. He provided the most important and original ideas, Victor Riqueti, Marquis de Mirabeau, was his first disciple, and included among the best known Physiocrats were Du Pont de Nemours, l’Abbé Nicolas Baudeau, Le Mercier de La Riviére and François Guillaume Le Trosne. One should also mention Henry Pattullo, an Irishman, who was deeply influenced by Quesnay’s early articles (see Hecht 1958, vol. 1, p. 257). These French authors can be regarded as the ‘inner circle’ of the Physiocrats.

Keywords

Advances Agrarian capitalism Agriculture Avances annuelles Avances foncières Avances primitives Baudeau, N. Cantillon, R. Chalmers, T. Circular flow Circulating capital and fixed capital Circulation of commodities Civil society Class Colbert, J.-B. Diderot, D. Du Pont de Nemours, P. S. Ephémérides du citoyen ou chronique de l’esprit national Fixed capital Forbonnais, F. V. D. de Free trade Galiani, F. Gournay, Marquis de Gray, J. Hoarding Input–output analysis Laissez-faire Le Trosne, G. F. Luxury Mercier de la Rivière, P.-P. Mirabeau, V. R., Marquis de Natural laws Net product Pattullo, H. Peasants Petty, W. Physiocracy Population growth Productive and unproductive labour Property rights Quesnay, F. Rent Reproduction schemes Single tax Smith, A. Spence, W. Sraffa, P. Surplus Tableau économique Turgot, A. R. J. Underconsumptionism Vauban, S. le P. Voltaire, F. M. A. de Wealth 

JEL Classifications

B1 
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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Vaggi
    • 1
  1. 1.