Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Classical political Economy
Peter J. Boettke & Nicholas A. Snow
Classical political economy is characterized by the systemic study of economic forces. Primarily concerned with the dynamics of economic growth, the classical economists sought to explain how and why wealth is created and destroyed. Their study found the role of institutions central in answering this question and as a result, stressed the importance of laissez-faire, free trade, and free competition. This entry reviews the history and basic elements of classical political economy, some of the criticisms that have been raised, and the impact of classical political economy on economic policy. The discipline of political economy was born in the eighteenth century as a branch of moral philosophy. Prior to that time, various thinkers from Aristotle to Aquinas, from the Spanish Scholastics to the French Physiocrats, had offered observations on the organization of production, the nature of commerce, the impact of the inflow of foreign currency on domestic prices, and the ...