The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Bastiat, Claude Frédéric (1801–1850)

  • R. F. Hébert
Reference work entry


French economist and publicist, born at Bayonne on 30 June 1801, the son of a merchant in the Spanish trade; died in Italy, at Rome, on 24 December 1850. Orphaned at the age of nine, Bastiat nevertheless received an encyclopedic education before entering his uncle’s business firm in 1818. By 1824 he was expressing dissatisfaction with his employment. Upon inheriting his grandfather’s estate in 1825, he left business and became a gentleman farmer at Mugron, but showed no more aptitude for agriculture than he had for commerce. So he became a provincial scholar, establishing a discussion group in his village and reading voraciously. His later writings show familiarity with the works of French, British, American and Italian authors, among them Say, Smith, Quesnay, Turgot, Ricardo, Mill, Bentham, Senior, Franklin, H.C. Carey, Custodi, Donato and Scialoja.


Bastiat, C. F. Cobden, R. Dupuit, A.-J.-E. J. Free trade Harmonism Service theory of value 

JEL Classifications

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  1. Baudin, L. 1962. Frédéric Bastiat. Paris: Dalloz.Google Scholar
  2. Hayek, F.A. 1964. Introduction to F. Bastiat. In Selected essays on political economy. Princeton: D. Van Nostrand.Google Scholar
  3. Russell, D. 1963. Frédéric Bastiat: Ideas and influence. Irvington-on-Hudson: Foundation for Economic Education.Google Scholar

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. F. Hébert
    • 1
  1. 1.