Pre-Smithian Economists

About this Collection

Adam Smith is justly regarded as the first of the modern economists given his deep insights into the functioning of the economy and his comprehensive approach to the subject. Nevertheless, those economists of the 17th and 18th centuries who preceded Smith also had important insights even though there were many false trails and wrong turnings. This collection of economists documents the 150 years of growth in economic thinking which predated Smith.

Key People

Titles & Essays

A – Z List

General Works


Social Sciences


Notes About This Collection

For more information see:

  • William D. Grampp, Economic Liberalism. Volume I: The Beginnings (New York: Random House, 1965).
  • Barry Gordon, Economic Analysis before Adam Smith: Hesiod to Lessius (London: Macmillan, 1975).
  • Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, The Origins of Physiocracy: Economic Revolution and Social Order in Eighteenth-Century France (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1976).
  • Commerce, Culture, and Liberty: Readings on Capitalism before Adam Smith, ed. Henry C. Clark (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2003).