Richard Cantillon'S Essay On Economic Theory

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In our field Oresmius, Monchretien, Barbon, Rae, W. Lloyd, Cournot, Jennings, Longfield, and Gossen are just a few of the best known instances of this kind.

In economics, just as in other sciences, it is by no means an exceptional occurrence to find that, no sooner has a “new” doctrine made its mark, than earlier, completely forgotten writers are discovered who perceived those newly accepted ideas with brilliant insight in their own day and set them down in their writings. Other, no less exciting aspects were opened up by the research which led to this achievement.

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Intrigue, murder, posthumous plagiarism, citations by Adam Smith, rediscovery by William Stanley Jevons a century later, and a stunning work on entrepreneurial risk, money, foreign exchange, and banking from the 1700s–what more could one ask for from an 18th century economist?

His success was largely derived from the political and business connections he made through his family and through an early employer, James Brydges.

During the late 1710s and early 1720s, Cantillon speculated in, and later helped fund, John Law's Mississippi Company, from which he acquired great wealth. Translated by Micheál Ó Súilleabháin, Department of Economics of University College, Cork. In scarcely any field, however, will one find a case similar to that of Cantillon’s Essai sur la nature du commerce en général, which, having greatly influenced the molding of a science and fully articulated it for the first time, was at once entirely forgotten and remained in obscurity for roughly a century until, re-discovered by accident, its second emergence proved sensational. Introduction and textual comments written for Hella Hayek's 1931 German translation of Richard Cantillon's Essai. In our field Oresmius, Monchretien, Barbon, Rae, W. Lloyd, Cournot, Jennings, Longfield, and Gossen are just a few of the best known instances of this kind.Higgs’s book also contains these other recommended readings:1.William Stanley Jevons’s famous 1881 essay rediscovering Cantillon’s work, “Richard Cantillon and the Nationality of Political Economy,” an article rich with warranted enthusiasm and detailed research. Hayek, “Richard Cantillon,” 1931; translated by Micheál Ó Súilleabháin for the Journal of Libertarian Studies, vol. 2, Fall 1985 (republished on Econlib with permission). The Essai sur la Nature du Commerce en Général, written between 17, is now printed for the first time in England.We use cookies to make interactions with our website easy and meaningful, to better understand the use of our services, and to tailor advertising.For further information, including about cookie settings, please read our Cookie Policy .That Smith was familiar with Cantillon in some form is documented in Smith’s own rare citations.Other contemporary economists were also familiar with the work, even to the point of plagiarizing from the unpublished version.Econlib is pleased to present the full translation of this remarkable work.We also bring you Higgs’s side-by-side French/English edition for download as a pdf file, as well as our formatted searchable online edition.

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