Richard Cantillon (1680-1734), an Irish economist, has claims to be regarded as one of the most outstanding analytical economists of the eighteenth century. F. A. Hayek wrote that Cantillon was the first to fully articulate economics as a science. In the Essay, Cantillon outlined an extraordinary model-building approach showing how the economy could be built up, through progressive stages, from a command, barter, closed economy to a market economy, which uses money and is open. He produced some outstanding monetary theory including what Mark Blaug called the Cantillon effect when demonstrating the effects of monetary expansion on inflation, output, and the balance of payments. He also highlighted the difficulties created by excessive financial innovation for a real economy and outlined the dangers of foreign borrowing by a country. Though written in the eighteenth century, the Essay has a considerable resonance for a twenty-first-century audience.
Opinion by German Anitua Azkarate
A must read for all those interested in the understanding of the concept of merchandising and merchants themselves in the eighteenth century. A person profile that has evolved until what today we can call entrepreneur. The essay describes in exquisite detail the evolution of that independent merchant and adventurer who made a market by means of exchange and sale, until he reached a merchant subject to the laws of the market.
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