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“Richard Cantillon”, Journal of Libertarian Studies, vol. VII, No. 2, Fall 1985, pp. 217–247.
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Friedrich A Hayek, “Richard Cantillon” Translated by: Micheál Ó Súilleabháin, Department of Economics of University College, Cork, Journal of Libertarian Studies, vol. VII, No. 2, Fall 1985, pp. 217–247.
Introduction and textual comments written for Hella Hayek's 1931 German translation of Richard Cantillon's Essai∗
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. In our field Oresmius, Monchretien, Barbon, Rae, W. F. Lloyd, Cournot, Jennings, Longfield, and Gossen are just a few of the best known instances of this kind. 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. Other, no less exciting aspects were opened up by the research which led to this achievement. The contemporaries who witnessed the publication of this book in 1755 had but a vague and partly incorrect knowledge of its author, who had died twenty-one years previously, and yet even in its latent form as manuscript the work had exerted a subterranean influence which can only now be appreciated.
Quite apart from its thoroughly strange history, this work, as the now undisputed accomplishment of Richard Cantillon, who died in 1734, is of extraordinary interest in its own right. W. S. Jevons, who rediscovered the Essai, was scarcely exaggerating when he entitled it the “Cradle of Political Economy,” the bicentenary of whose existence as an independent discipline we can therefore now celebrate. Outside of Germany the importance of the Essai is practically unquestioned. Why it is still rather unknown in this country and why a German translation needs to be justified can be explained by unpropitious circumstances, fully in keeping with the fortunes of the book, into which we shall enter in due course.
The rediscovery of Cantillon's Essai is due to the fact that it is one of the few works quoted by Adam Smith. In the eighth chapter of Book One of The Wealth of Nations, Smith, without preliminary reference but rather presuming acquaintance on the part of his reader, suddenly adverts in his discussion of wages to
Cantillon, [who] seems, upon this account, to suppose that the lowest species of common labourers must everywhere earn at least double their own maintenance, in order that one with another they may be enabled to bring up two children; the labour of the wife, on account of her necessary attendance on the children, being supposed no more than sufficient to provide for herself. But one-half the children born, it is computed, die before the age of manhood. The poorest labourers, therefore, according to this account, must, one with another, attempt to rear at least four children, in order that two may have an equal chance of living to that age. But the necessary maintenance of four children, it is supposed, may be nearly equal to that of one man. The labour of an able-bodied slave, the same author adds, is computed to be worth double his maintenance; and that of the meanests, cannot be worth less than that of an able-bodied slave. Thus far at least it seems certain, that, in order to bring up a family, the labour of the husband and wife together must, even in the lowest species of common labour, be able to earn something more than what is precisely necessary for their own maintenance; but in what proportion, whether in that above mentioned, or in any other, I shall not take upon me to determine.2
The only economic treatise bearing the name Cantillon, to which one might have related that passage at the time, was a very mediocre publication, the full title of which was “An Analysis of Trade, Commerce, Coin, Bullion, Banks, and Foreign Exchange, Wherein the true Principles of this usefull Knowledge are fully but briefly laid down and explained, to give a clear idea of their happy consequences to Society when well regulated. Taken chiefly from a Manuscript of a very ingenious Gentleman deceas'd, and adapted to the present situation of our trade. By Philip Cantillon, Late of the City of London, Merchant. London, Printed for the Author and sold by... MDCCLIX.”
That book, however, does not contain any passages to which Smith, in making these remarks, could have been referring. On the other hand, in contemporary French economic literature, particularly the writings of most of the Physiocrats, one could encounter references to a different source, an anonymous Essai sur la nature du commerce en général, commonly attributed to a de Cantillon, which does in fact (on page 43) contain the passage which was quite inaccurately reproduced by Smith. This work, which appeared in French in 1755 while purporting to be “Tranduit de l'Anglois” also bore the false imprint “A Londres, chez Fletcher Gyles, dans Holborn.”3
The fact that the Essai was widely read can be deduced from the many quotations found in the French literature of the second half of the eighteenth century and a fortiori from the fact that the 1755 edition was followed by two further editions. The first of these is similar in format with smaller type, so that it comprises 432 pages (427 numbered) compared to the original 436 (430 numbered). The second occurs as a reprint in Volume Three of an anthology edited by Eleazar Mauvillon, father of the German Physiocrat Jakob Mauvillon, which is variously entitled “Discours Politiques,” after Hume's “Political Discourses” in Volume One, or “Les Intérets de la France,” after Goudar's tract in Volumes Four and Five.4 In addition, an Italian translation by F. Scottoni appeared in 1767.5
It was this French Essai which, while writers prior to Jevons's research continued to attribute it in error to Philip Cantillon, was held in high esteem among the Physiocrats and which Adam Smith got to know when he was introduced to that circle in 1765. The first of them to name Cantillon was Viktor Riquetti, Marquis de Mirabeau, as distinct from his famous son, Count Honoré Gabriel Mirabeau, generally known simply as Marquis Mirabeau. The reference to Cantillon occurs in his Ami des Hommes, which followed, in 1757, two years after Cantillon's Essai.6 It is of two-fold interest, for while it represents one of the most important sources for a biography of Cantillon, it also entails a singular story of its own, which will concern us later. For the moment let us reflect on a later remark of Mirabeau's concerning Cantillon, which throws light on his own relations with the other members of the Physiocratic school.
In the course of expressing his views on population, which formed the subject of “Ami des Hommes,” Mirabeau wrote to Rousseau on July 30, 1767:
I derived my original and indeed my only views on this subject from Cantillon's Essai sur la nature du commerce, which I possessed in manuscript form for almost sixteen years.... Never did Goliath stride into battle with greater confidence than I, looking for a man who, I was told, had had the temerity to write on the margin of my book: “The child has been suckled on poor milk, the strength of his constitution often sets him right in the result, but he does not understand anything of the principles”. My critic did not spare me but told me to my face that I had put the cart before the horse and that Cantillon as founder of political science was an ignoramus. Such slanderous words led me to look upon the man who uttered them as a fool, but the consideration that argument thrives upon contradiction induced me to hold my tongue. I broke off the discussion and by evening was fortunately in a position to revert to the question with a calm mind. 'then it was that Goliath's head was split open.7
When Mirabeau wrote these lines he had, as we shall see, completely altered his earlier views and was transformed from being an admirer of Cantillon to being an equally enthusiastic follower of Quesnay, without ever having adequately understood either one or the other. He managed, in fact, in the continuation of the passage just quoted to impute to Cantillon the exact opposite of his expressed views, while Quesnay's assessment of Cantillon—for the context implies that it was Quesnay—can indeed be explained by the misleading formulation of Cantillon's views in Mirabeau's book. Apart from that, the derogatory remark came undoubtedly not from Quesnay but from Mirabeau himself.8 In any case the record indicates that it was the book inspired by Cantillon which sparked off Mirabeau's acquaintance with Quesnay, around which the Physiocratic school later developed.
However, a year before that discussion, which took place in 1757 about four months after the appearance of “Ami des Hommes,” Quesnay himself had quoted with approval some passages from Cantillon's Essai, remarking that that author had properly grasped the basic truths. The occasion was an article entitled “Grains,” which Quesnay provided for the first edition of d'Alembert and Diderot's Encyclopédie Methodique.9 J. C. V. de Gournay, who is acclaimed as the other great Physiocratic figure, published no independent work, but we know that he recommended “above all a thorough reading of Cantillon's Essai, an excellent though neglected work.”10
In the twenty years from 1756 to 1776, when the Physiocratic school flourished, we find Cantillon mentioned again and again. Turgot linked him with Montesquieu, Hume, Quesnay, and Gournay as one of the great writers who had surpassed their predecessor Melon.11 12 The Essai was known to Dupont de Nemours, Morellet, Mably, Graslin, and Savary.13 14 As early as 1762 passages from the Essai on the relationship between gold and silver (pages 371–381) were being quoted in Johann Philip Graumann's Gesammelte Briefe von dem Gelde.15 James Steuart quoted from the distorted “Analysis of Trade” of Philip Cantillon.16 In his inadequately appreciated “Du Commerce et du Gouvernement,” which appeared in the same year as Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, Condillac described the Essai in laudatory tones as one of the best books on the circulation of money which he had come across and which he had taken as the point of departure for his own analysis.17 At this point the name of Cantillon disappeared all at once from the economic literature.18 The later classical writers, for whom it was convenient to associate the reference in Adam Smith with the inferior English publication of Philip Cantillon, appear—perhaps with the exception of Malthus—not to have known him. They would of course, have encountered substantial parts of his work in the pages of his plagiarizers, whom we shall come to later.
One seeks in vain for Cantillon's name even in Blanqui's history of economic thought and until 1870 one finds only spasmodic references to him, Ganilh being a case in point.19 Eugène Daire devoted some scattered footnotes to him in his edition of the Physiocrates, while Cantillon is once again correctly identified in Julius Kautz's 1860 account of political economy and its historical development as a “transitional link between the Mercantilists, the Physiocrats, and the Smithians, ranked among the actual founders of political economy particularly because of his originality and independence of comprehension and presentation.”20 At this juncture it is well to recall a point that has been lost sight of since the rediscovery of Cantillon, namely, the fact that Wilhelm Roscher always paid tribute to Cantillon's importance. Relatively few other early authors are as frequently mentioned in Roscher's “Foundations of Economics,” while in his history of political economy he credits Cantillon's Essai with “containing in essentially perfected form many of the main traits and most important achievements of the Physiocrats.”21 It is presumably due to Roscher's influence that Fr. von Sivers in his 1874 essay on “Turgot's Place in the History of Political Economy” offers a detailed appreciation of Cantillon, many of whose pronouncements he quotes with the utmost praise.22 Meanwhile, writing in France four years previously, Léonce de Lavergne, that fine historian of his country's eighteenth-century economic literature, had indeed begun his review of the Physiocratic school by naming Cantillon and Gournay as its forerunners, saying in particular of Cantillon's Essai that “this book, though it was barely the size of a duodecimo volume, anticipated all the theories of the Economistes.”23
Notwithstanding the increasingly frequent references to Cantillon in the 1870's, the honor of recognizing the true stature of Cantillon and of assuring him his proper place in the history of economic thought must be reserved for W. St. Jevons. Jevons's essay on “Richard Cantillon and the Nationality of Political Economy,” published in 1881 in the Contemporary Review, achieved recognition for Cantillon at least in the English and French-speaking countries, but above all it clarified the question of authorship and signposted the way for subsequent research concerning Cantillon.24 Practically everything that we know about Cantillon is due either directly to Jevons or to the researches of Higgs, which he inspired. Suffice it to recall here his summing-up of Cantillon's achievement:
The Essai is far more than a mere essay or even collection of disconnected essays like those or Hume. It is a systematic and connected treatise, going over in a concise manner nearly the whole field of economics, with the exception of taxation. It is thus, more than any other book I know, the first treatise on economics. Sir William Petty's Political Arithmetic and his Treatise of Taxes and Contributions are wonderful books in their way, and at their time, but, compared with Cantillon's Essai, they are merely collections of casual hints. There were earlier English works of great merit, such as those of Vaughan, Locke, Child, Mun, etc., but these were either occasional essays and pamphlets, or else fragmentary treatises. Cantillon's essay is, more emphatically than any other single work, “the Cradle of Political Economy.”25
Jevon's essay opened the way for a torrent of writing on Cantillon. The Dictionary of National Biography, Palgrave's Dictionary of Political Economy, and a supplementary volume of Nouveau Dictionaire d'Economie Politique devoted space to him?”26 27 28 In the years with followed, J. K. Ingrain, R. Zurkerlandl, and especially A. Espinas discussed him in their doctrinal histories.29 30 31 In the first edition of his Principles of Economics, Alfred Marshall made a widely noted remark about Cantillon to the effect that he “was very acute and in some respects much ahead of his time. But he seems to me wanting in solidity.”32 More importance attaches, indeed, to the researches of Stefan Bauer and especially to those of Henry Higgs, who, following clues which Jevons had uncovered but was unable to pursue because of his sudden death, brought some very interesting facts about Cantillon and his work to light.33 These appeared in 1891 in the second number of Volume One of the Economic Journal.34
Through the initiative of Harvard University there appeared in the following year an additional reprint of the Essai, which, Palgrave's Dictionary tells us, had become “one of the rarest works of economic literature.”35 This edition, not quite a facsimile but as close to the original as could be achieved without creating special type, has also been out of print for years and it seems that few copies made their way to Germany.
The very favorable reaction to and admiration of Cantillon's Essai in England and France was by no means restricted to the small circle of his discoverers and biographers, and his status as at least one of the founders of our discipline is beyond dispute. One could adduce much evidence of this point: suffice it to recall that H. S. Foxwell associates the main stages in the development of political economy with Petty, Cantillon, Ricardo, and Jevons, while in recent years E. Cannan has affirmed that Jevons's enthusiasm for Cantillon was not in the least exaggerated.36 37 But even in France Cantillon is scarcely less appreciated, notwithstanding the initial resentment towards him which presumably followed when Jevons, in restoring him to prominence, advanced England's claim over that of France to being the home of political economy.38 Take, for example, the attitude of Ch. Gide. In his history of economic doctrine, which he co-authored with Ch. Rist, and which really begins with the Physiocrats, Gide followed his fleeting reference to Cantillon with a footnote stating: “Cantillon, who had gone unmentioned for more than a century, has in recent years become very fashionable again, like many other newly discovered precursors. The influence on the Physiocrats which one ascribes to him is exaggerated.”39 However, in a contribution on French economics to Volume Two of Palgrave's Dictionary, Gide explicitly describes Cantillon's Essai as the first systematic treatment of political economy and adds: “in this work practically the entire subject matter of modern political economy is dealt with in a very lucid and definite manner.”
In Germany, as we have seen, there were special circumstances which inhibited an equally rapid acceptance of Cantillon's status. At the time when the rediscovered Essai was being discussed in England and France, the leading German authority on French economics of the period in question, A. Oncken, was a particularly keen admirer of and expert on the Physiocratic school. Just as a good biographer must have a somewhat exaggerated liking for his subject, in Oncken's case his attachment to the Physiocrats seems to have entailed a certain bias towards the man who was represented to him, quite justifiably, as the actual founder of the Physiocratic doctrine.
For this reason and perhaps arising from his personal view of what constituted the main tasks of economics, Oncken unhesitantly rejected this claim advanced on behalf of Cantillon, and when he later wrote his history of economic thought, a widely read standard German work on economics before Adam Smith, his verdict on Cantillon was so unfavorable that a serious interest in the latter may well have been ruled out in Germany.40 41 The relevant passage, which discredited Cantillon in the eyes of many German readers, is so characteristic of both Oncken's position and the basic understanding of economics, which led to Cantillon's being ignored in Germany, that it is worth quoting here. Oncken writes:
From all of that it may be concluded that, while both doctrines [those of Cantillon and the Physiocrats respectively] have certain points in common, there is too much missing to justify calling Cantillon “the father of Physiocracy” and hence the originator of economics as a science. The latter claim founders especially by reason of the lack of a moral philosophical basis, such as suited Quesnay's as well as Smith's system. Cantillon was an acute thinker and was extraordinarily well educated for his time, but for all that he was a mere merchant, like North, Child, and later Ricardo. He was not the founder of a science.
In a different context Cantillon might well have been satisfied to be bracketed in this way with Ricardo, but, given the prevailing attitudes in German economic circles at the time, the verdict assured his subsequent neglect. Oncken's influence is reflected most clearly in the remark of a certain Mr. Oberfohren to the effect that “it is really incomprehensible that such a rather mediocre and incoherent publication could be stamped as one of the most influential pre-Physiocratlc works!”42
In such a situation it could not matter much that individual researchers such as W. Lexis, F. J. Neumann, and—presumably influenced by the latter—O. von Zwiedineck-Südenhorst fully endorsed particular propositions of Cantillon.43 44 45 That applies even to J. Schumpeter, who, in his brilliant “Epochen der Dogmen- und and Methodengeschichte,” hit the nail on the head, when he wrote:
Pride of place is reserved, however, for Cantillon, whose Essai can be looked upon as the first systematic working of the field of economics. It bears the stamp of the scientific mind. The individual problems are permeated by unified explanatory principles and together go to make up a comprehensive analysis of great design. The narrow confines of earlier trains of thought are broken down. Rudimentary blunders are avoided, those arising from deficient skill in handling tools of analysis just as much as those resulting from an undue burden of philosophy.46
Nonetheless, it is no exaggeration to say that Cantillon is known only by name to most German economists today. The astonishment evoked by my desire to bring out a German edition of his work bears eloquent testimony to this fact.
[∗]All page numbers cited in this text for Cantillon's Essai sur la nature du commerce en général are to the original French version.
The author is greatly indebted to Professor Henry Higgs, London, Professor Dr. Fritz Karl Mann, Cologne, and Sektionsrat Dr. Ewald Schams, Vienna, who read the manuscript of this Introduction and by their generous comments helped to eliminate some faults and fill numerous gaps.
Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (London: Cannan, 1904 and later), vol. 1, p. 70.
The French translation of Tucker's “Reflections on the Expediency of a Law for the Naturalisation of Foreign Protestants” which Turgot, probably on the suggestion of Gournay, undertook, bears the same fictitious designation of place of printing. The translation, entitled “Questions importantes sur le Commerce,” and the original text were presumably printed in Paris. A London bookseller named Fletcher Gyles had, by 1755, long since ceased to exist.
The fact that this edition appeared in various guises is presumably attributable to the enterprise of a bookseller, who was anxious to promote sales by altering the title page; it would appear to be dated variously 1755 and 1761.
Saggio Sulla Natura de Commercio, Autore Inglese, with a Preface by F. Scottoni (Venice, 1767).
The first edition of this work, although dared 1756 on the title page, did not actually appear until 1757. See G. Weulersse, Les Manuscrits Économiques de Francois Quesnay et du Marquis de Mirabeau aux Archives Nationales (Paris, 1910), p. 19 ff.
See “J. J. Rousseau, ses Amis et ses Enemis. Correspondence publicée par M. G. Streckeisen Moultou”, with an Introduction by J. Levallois (Paris, 1865), vol. II, p. 265 ff. A more extensive passage is to be found in Oeuvres économiques et philosophiques de F. Quesnay, ed. A. Oncken, (Frankfurt and Paris, 1888), p. 4 ff and a German version in A. Oncken, “Entsrehung and Werden der physiokratischen Theorie,” in Vierteljahrsschrift für Staats-und Volkswirtschaft, ed. K. Frankenstein, vol. 5 (Leipzig, 1895), pp. 275 ff., as well as in the same author's “Geschichte der Nationalökonomie.” Erstel Teil (Leipzig, 1902 and later), pp. 318 ff. A practically identical account of the conversation taken, however, from a different letter which Mirabeau wrote towards the end of the 1770s, is contained in the first-mentioned article by Oncken; it was taken from the well-known work of L. de Lomiere, Les Mirabeau, nouvelles études sur la societe francaise au XVIIIe Siecle (Paris, 1879), 2:170 ff.
See Oncken, “Entstehung und Werden,” p. 279. How little authentic Mirabeau's account of the course of this conversation is, can be deduced from the fact that, in a letter written to his brother immediately after the conversation, he describes himself as the victor. See ibid., p. 275, and Lomenie, Les Mirabeau, 2:196.
See the 1757 edition, vol. 7, p. 821, reprinted in Quesney, Oeuvres Economiques et Philosophiques, p. 218.
See Mémoires inedits de l’Abbé Morellet (1823), 1:37 ff.
See Eugene B. Daire's edition of Turgot's work (Paris, 1848), 2:819.
J. F. Melon, Essai politique sur le Commerce (Rouen and Bordeaux, 1734). For that reason Melon cannot be described as preceding Cantillon, for the latter died in the year in which Melon's work appeared.
See “Notice abrégée des différents écrits modernes qui ont concouru en France a former la science de l’Economie politique,” in Quesnay, Oeuvres Economiques et Philosophiques, under “The Years 1754 and 1755”, p. 148.
For a more detailed account see Henry Higgs, Economic Journal (1891) 1:262 ff.
J. Ph. Graumanns, Gesammelte Briefe von dem Gelde (Berlin, 1762) p. 114 ff.
Sir James Steuart, An Inquiry into the Principles of Political Economy, Book III, II/3 or vol. XV, p. 284.
See E. B. de Condillac, “Du Commerce et du Gouvernement, considére relativement l’un à l’autre,” (Amsterdam and Paris, 1776), chap. 16, p. 143, Oeuvres Complets (Paris: 1803), vol. 6, p. 141. See also A. Lebeau, Condillac économiste (Paris, 1903), pp. 11, 350, 412.
Some further references to Cantillon's influence on economists of this period will be found towards the end of this Introduction.
Charles Ganilh, Des systèmes d’économie Politique, 2nd ed. (1821), vol. 1, pp. XV, 134; vol. 2, p. 107.
Physiocrats. Quesnay, Dupont de Nemours, Mercier de la Rivière, L’Abbé Baudeau, Le Trosne, Avec une Introduction sun la Doctrine des Physiocrates, des Commentaires et des Notices Historiques par Eugène Daire (Paris, 1846), Part 1, p. 74, 82, 274. It is not easy to understand why Daire did not deal systematically with the Essai, which he thought highly of, in editing the 15-volume Collection des principaux économistes (1843–1848), the second volume of which contains the above-mentioned “Physiocrats”; this fact certainly contributed to the neglect of Cantillon.
 W. Roscher, Geschichte den Nationalökonomik in Deutschland (Munich, 1874), p. 481.
Fr. von Sivers, Jahrhu^cher für Nationalökonomie and Statistik, vol. 23 (Jena, 1874). On pages 158–62, which are devoted entirely to Cantillon, he writes: “Eschewing superficial opinion, Cantillon, in his 'Essai sur la nature du commerce en général,” subjects the idea that the entire population is dependent upon the landlords to a process of profound reasoning. More incisive observation and keener powers of discernment lead him to see that value cannot be explained in terms of supply and demand only and that the market price formed by supply and demand gravitates around a mean, which is itself determined by other causes.... It suffices to record, that we find here the three-fold division of society, which was later considered a discovery of Quesnay. The agricultural labourers produce the wealth, only the landlords are truly independent, the artists and merchants are supported by the net income of the landlords. The division of rent is the same as in the ‘Analyse du tableau économique’; the only difference is that there the proportions are 220.127.116.11, while here we have a division into sixths.”
Léonce de Lavergne, Les économistes francais du dixhuitième siècle (Paris, 1870), p. 167. The passage from which the cited quotation is taken continues: “Property in general and specifically landed property is presented as the basis of society. From this principle Cantillon derives all the inferences which follow, especially in relation to freedom of commerce in all its forms. If he had lived longer, he would have become one of the leading figures of the school of the Economistes.”
W. Stanley Jevons, “Richard Cantillon and the Nationality of Political Economy,” Contemporary Review 39, January 1881, reprinted in The Principles of Economics. A Fragment of a Treatise on the Industrial Mechanism of Society and other Papers with a Preface by Henry Higgs (London, 1905), pp. 155–83.
Jevons, Principles of Economics, p. 164.
Article on “Cantillon.” by H. R. Tedder, Dictionary of National Biography, ed. L. Stephen, Sidney Lee (London, 1886), 8:455.
Article on “Cantillon,” by Henry Higgs, F. Y. Edgeworth, and Stephan Bauer, Dictionary of Political Economy, ed. R. H. Palgrave (London, 1894).
Article on “Cantillon,” by Castelot, Nouveau Dictionaire d‘Economie Politique, ed. Leon Say, Supplement (Paris, 1897).
J. K. Ingram, A History of Political Economy (Edinburgh, 7888), p. 60 ff.
R. Zuckarkandl, Zur Theorie des Preises min besonderer Berucksichtigung den geschichtlichen Engwicklung den Lehre (Leipzig, 1889).
A. Espinas, Histoire des Doctrines Economiques (Paris, 1891), p. 179–97.
Alfred Marshall, Principles of Economics (London, 1891), p. 53. In subsequent editions Marshall altered his verdict and he remarks (in a footnote to the passage, in which he describes the Physiocrats’ achievement as the first attempt at a London 1916, Appendix B 2, p. 756), that Cantillon has some claim to being considered systematic.
See the Letters and Journal of William Stanley Jevons, edited by his wife (London, 1886), p. 425.
Henry Higgs, “Richard Cantillon,” Economic Journal (1891) 1:262–91.
Cantillon, Essai sur Le Commerce, Reprinted for Harvard University (Boston: Geo. H. Ellis; London; Macmillan, 1892), with a Preface by Henry Higgs.
See H. S. Foxwell, Introduction to W. St. Jevons, Investigations in Currency and Finance (London, 1884), p. XLII.
See E. Cannan, A Review of Economic Theory (London, 1929), p. 20n. This fascinating book, which finally prompted me to devote myself earnestly to a study of Cantillon, gives the best synoptic view of Cantillon's importance for the entire development of economics.
See the excellent appreciation in A. Espinas, Historie des Doctrines Economiques, pp. 179–97, which appeared as early as 1891.
See the German edition, Charles Gide and Charles Rist, Geschichte der volkswirtschaftlichen Lehrmeinungen, 2nd ed. (Jena, 1921), p. 52.
See A. Oncken, Entstehung und Werden der Physiokratischen Theorie, p. 280ff.n.
A. Oncken, Geschichte der Nationalökonomie. Part One (only part), Die Zeit vor Adam Smith (Leipzig, 1902), particularly p. 279.
Ernst Oberfohren, Die Idee der Universalökonomie in der Französischen Wirtschaftswissenschaftlichen Literatur bis auf Turgot (Probleme der Weltwirtschaft. Schriften des kgl. Instituts für Seeverkehr und Weltwirtschaften der Universität Kiel, Nr. 23), (Jena, 1915), p. 124.
See W. Lexis, article on “Physiokratisches System” in Handwörterbuch der Staatsissenschaften, 3rd ed. (Jena, 1913) 6:1039: “In particular we find... what are undoubtedly essential elements of Physiocratic theory anticipated... in Cantillon's Essai, even though Quesnay refused to recognize this and in fact spoke disparagingly of Cantillon in a letter (?) to Mirabeau.” Cantillon is certainly less one-sided than the Physiocrats. See also his Allgemeine Volkswirtschaftslehre (Leipzig, 1913), in which Cantillon's Essai is similarly described as “the first attempt at a comprehensive theory of the economy” (p. 239).
Fr. J. Neumann, “Zur Geschichte der Lehre von der Gravitation der Löhne nach gewissen Kostenbeträgen,” Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie und Statistik, 3rd ser., vol. 17 (Jena, 1899), p. 147ff.
O. von Zwiedineck-Sudenhorst, Die Lohnpreisbildung, Grundriss der Sozialökonomik, Vol. IV/I, p. 320. There the following opinion of Cantillon is expressed: “This Irish pioneer of Physiocratic ideas spells out all the essential arguments which are to be found in what is commonly considered to be the edifice of classical theory.”
See J. Schumpeter, Epochen der Dogmen-und Methodengeschichte, Grundriss der Sozialo^konomik, 1st. ed (Tubingen 1914), vol. 1. p. 1, p. 143.