The Paris School of Political Economy

Created: 4 Aug. 2022
Updated: 14 September, 2022

Summary and Overview | Key Institutions and Major Publications | Key People and Texts | My Essays and Blog Posts

A Summary and Overview of the Topic

Places to begin:

  1. On the school during the 1st half of the 19thC see
    1. the chapter “The Paris School of Liberal Political Economy” in The Cambridge History of French Thought, ed. Michael Moriarty and Jeremy Jennings (Cambridge University Press, 2019), pp. 301-12. [text PDF],
    2. my much longer version here - “The Paris School of Liberal Political Economy, 1803–1853” (March 2018) [HTML] and [text-based PDF]
    3. and slides of my talk [PDF]
  2. on the school towards the end of the century when it was in decline see “For Whom the Bell Tolls: The School of Liberty and the Rise of Interventionism in French Political Economy in the Late 19thC" in the Journal of Markets and Morality (Fall 2017), pp. 383-412. [HTML]
  3. two anthologies I have co-edited (one in French and one in English) of 19th century French liberal thought in which the economists are well represented:
    1. L'âge d`or du libéralisme français. Anthologie. XIXe siècle. Robert Leroux et David M. Hart. Préface de Mathieu Laine (Paris: Editions Ellipses, 2014). Table of Contents with links to the PDF texts (41 items). [Text-based PDF]. [HTML version]
    2. French Liberalism in the 19th Century: An Anthology. Edited by Robert Leroux and David M. Hart (London: Routledge, 2012). ToC of the collection with links to facs. PDFs of the texts.
  4. the pioneering essay by Michel Leter: “Éléments pour une étude de l’École de Paris (1803-1852)," in Histoire du libéralisme en Europe, eds. Philippe Nemo and Jean Petitot (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 2006), pp. 429-509. [text PDF]
  5. the encyclopedic work by Paul-Jacques Lehmann, Les fondements du libéralisme économique: Les 50 économistes à l’origine de la pensée libérale en France (London: ISTE Group, 2017).
  6. see my eBooks of some some classic works by the Paris School (listed below) and a few of my blog posts
    1. My Research on the Paris School” (3 Sept. 2022)
    2. An Introduction to the Paris School of Political Economy” (7 Aug. 2022)
    3. The Guillaumin Network and the Paris School of Political Economy” (7 Aug. 2022)
    4. A Publishing History of the Guillaumin Firm (1837-1910)” (5 Aug. 2022)

 

Key Institutions and Major Publications

The Guillaumin publishing firm (1837-1910): published 2,356 titles at an average rate of 31.8 titles p.a., including

  1. Journal des économistes (1842–1940) - list of my online collection
  2. L’Annuaire de l'économie politique. Ed. J. Garnier (1844–99)
  3. Collection des principaux économistes. Ed. E. Daire (1840–48), 15 vols. [List]
  4. Bibliothèque des sciences morales et politiques (1857–)
  5. Dictionnaire d’économie politique (1852-53) (ed. Guillaumin and Coquelin) [List]
  6. Dictionnaire universel théorique et practique du commerce et de la navigation (1859-61).
  7. Nouveau Dictionnaire d’Économie Politique. ed Léon Say (1890), 2 vols. [List]

The Société d’Économie Politique - founded Nov. 1842 [List]

  1. Annales de la Société d'Économie Politique, 16 volumes covering the years 1846-1887.
  2. Bulletin de la Société d’Économie Politique (1888-1920)

 

Key People and Texts of the Paris School

Turgot (1727-81)

Jean-Baptiste Say (1767-1832)

Charles Dunoyer (1786-1862)

Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850)

Charles Coquelin (1802-1852)

Léon Faucher (1803-1854)

Frédéric Passy (1822-1912)

Gustave de Molinari (1819-1912)

See Michel Leter's chapter and my essay for a full list of members of the Paris School. Below is only a selection with an emphasis on the first half of the 19thC (1803-1853).

See my own eBook editions of some classic texts. They were written by the radical group of liberals who have interested me most, namely J.B. Say, Charles Comte, Charles Dunoyer, Frédéric Bastiat, and Gustave de Molinari. My versions of the texts are faithful reproductions of the original and include the original page numbers, unique IDs for each paragraph (to aid citation of the texts), and a suitable css for e-book versions (HTML and PDF). The "zipped" folder also contains the facsimile PDF version of the text.

  1. Turgot, Réflexions sur la formation et la distribution des richesses (1766, 1770) - the standard HTML; my eBook HTML and eBook PDF; the zipped collection
  2. Condorcet, Esquisse d’un tableau historique des progrès de l’esprit humain (1795) - the standard HTML; my eBook HTML and eBook PDF; the zipped collection
  3. J.B. Say, Traité d’économie politique (1803) (1841 6th edition) - the standard HTML version; my eBook HTML, my eBook PDF; the zipped collection
  4. Constant, Commentaire sur l’ouvrage de Filangieri (1822-24) - the standard HTML; my eBook HTML and eBook PDF; the zipped collection
  5. Molinari, Les Soirées de la rue Saint-Lazare (1849) - the standard HTML; my new eBook HTML and eBook PDF ; the zipped collection
  6. Molinari, Cours d’économie politique (1863) - the standard HTML version [vol1 and vol2]; my eBook HTML [vol1 and vol2], my eBook PDF [vol1 and vol2]; the zipped collection
  7. Bastiat, "Introduction" to Cobden et la Ligue (1845) - the standard HTML version, my eBook HTML, my eBook PDF version, and the zipped collection
  8. Bastiat, Ce qu'on voit et ce qu'on ne voit pas (1850) - the standard HTML; my eBook HTML and eBook PDF ; the zipped collection
  9. Bastiat, La Loi (1850) - the standard HTML version; my eBook HTML and eBook PDF; the zipped collection
  10. in progress: Bastiat, Harmonies économiques (2nd enlarged edtion of 1851)
  11. Molinari, L’évolution économique du XIXe siècle (1880) - the standard HTML version; my eBook HTML and eBook PDF; the zipped collection
  12. Molinari, L’évolution politique et la Révolution (1884) - the standard HTML version; my eBook HTML and eBook PDF; the zipped collection

The Precursors (the Physiocrats): who were active before the French Revolution

  1. Boisguilbert (1646-1714)
  2. Richard Cantillon (1680-1734)
  3. Quesnay (1694-1774)
  4. Étienne Bonnot de Condillac (1714-80)
  5. Turgot (1727-81)

Some of their key works are:

  • Boisguilbert , Dissertation sur la nature des richesses (1707) 
  • Cantillon, Essay on the Nature of Trade in General (c.1730)
  • Turgot, Réflexions sur la formation et la distribution des richesses (1766)
  • Quesnay, Physiocratie, ou constitution naturelle de gouvernement (1768)
  • Condillac, Le Commerce et le gouvernement (1776)

The First Generation: who were born under the Old Regime and were active during the Revolution, the Empire, and the Restoration

  1. Condorcet (1743–1794)
  2. Claude Destutt de Tracy (1754-1836)
  3. Pierre Daunou (1761–1840)
  4. Benjamin Constant (1767-1830)
  5. Jean-Baptiste Say (1767-1832)
  6. Charles Comte (1782-1837)
  7. Charles Dunoyer (1786-1862)
  8. Pellegrino Rossi (1787–1848)

Some of their key works are:

  • Condorcet, Esquisse d’un tableau historique des progrès de l’esprit humain (1795) [HTML]
  • Say, Traité d’économie politique (1803) [PDF1 - PDF2]; 1841 ed. [HTML]
  • Say, Cours complet d'économie politique pratique (1828-29) [PDF1 - PDF2 - PDF3 - PDF4 - PDF5 - PDF6]
  • Constant, Principes de politique, applicables à tous les gouvernements (1806-10) [HTML]
  • Constant, De l’esprit de conquête et de l’usurpation (1814) [HTML]
  • Constant, Commentaire sur l’ouvrage de Filangieri (1822-24) [HTML] [PDF1 - PDF2]
  • Destutt de Tracy, Eléments d'idéologie (1817–1818). Vol. 4 Traité d'économie politique (1823) [HTML]
  • Comte/Dunoyer, Le Censeur (1814-1815) [ToC], Le Censeur européen (1817-19) [ToC] - [anthology HTML]
  • Dunoyer, L'Industrie et la morale considérées dans leurs rapports avec la liberté (1825) [PDF]
  • Rossi, Cours d’économie politique (1840)
  • Dunoyer, De la Liberté du travail, 3 vols. (1845) [PDF1 - PDF2 - PDF3]
  • Comte, Traité de législation (1827) [HTML] and Traité de la propriété (1834) [PDF1 and PDF2]

The Second Generation: who were born during the French Revolution and the First Empire (1789-1815) and active during the late July Monarchy and later

  1. Horace Say (1794-1860)
  2. Hippolyte Passy (1795-1880)
  3. Adolphe Blanqui (1798-1854)
  4. Eugène Daire (1798-1847)
  5. Louis Reybaud (1799–1879)
  6. Gilbert Guillaumin (1801-1864)
  7. Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850)
  8. Charles Coquelin (1802-1852)
  9. Léon Faucher (1803-1854)
  10. Ambroise Clément (1805-1886)
  11. Michel Chevalier (1806-1879)
  12. Louis Wolowski (1810-1876)
  13. Édouard Laboulaye (1811-1883)
  14. Jean-Gustave Courcelle-Seneuil (1813-1892)
  15. Joseph Garnier (1813-1881)

Some of their key works are:

  • Blanqui, Encyclopédie du commerçant (1839–41)
  • Daire ed., Collection des principaux économistes (1840-48), 15 vols. [List]
  • Reybaud, Études sur les réformateurs et socialistes modernes (1840, 1849) [PDF1 - PDF2]
  • Chevalier, Cours d’économie fait au Collège de France. Année 1841-42 [PDF]
  • Bastiat, Cobden et la ligue (1845) [PDF] - Intro [HTML]
  • Garnier, Traité d’économie politique (1845)
  • Bastiat, Sophismes économiques (1st series 1846, 2nd 1848) [PDF1 - PDF2]
  • H. Say, Paris, son octroi et ses emprunts (1847)
  • Coquelin, Du Crédit et des Banques (1848) [PDF]
  • Chevalier, La liberté aux États-unis (1849) [PDF]
  • Bastiat, Ce que l'on voit et ce que l'on ne voit pas (1850) [HTML]
  • Bastiat, Harmonies économiques (1850, 1851) [PDF] - [HTML - draft]
  • Coquelin, Dictionnaire de l'économie politique (1852-53) [List]
  • Faucher, Études sur l’Angleterre (1856)
  • Courcelle-Seneuil, Traité théorique et practique d’économie politique (1856)
  • Wolowski, La question des banques (1864)
  • Clément, Essai sur la science sociale (1867)

The Third Generation: who were born during the Restoration period (1815-1830) and were active during the Second Republic and later

  1. Maurice Block (1816-1901)
  2. Gustave de Puynode (1817-1898)
  3. Clément Juglar (1819-1905)
  4. Gustave de Molinari (1819-1912)
  5. Léon-Henri Baudrillard (1821-1894)
  6. Alcide Fonteyraud (1822-1849)
  7. Frédéric Passy (1822-1912)
  8. Léon Say (1826-1896)
  9. Émile Levasseur (1828–1911)
  10. Yves Guyot (1843–1928)
  11. Paul Leroy-Beaulieu (1843–1916)
  12. Gustave Schelle (1845–1927)

Some of their key works are:

  • Molinari, "De la production de la sécurité," JDE (Feb. 1849) [PDF] [HTML]
  • Molinari, Les Soirées de la rue Saint-Lazare (1849) [HTML]
  • Fonteyraud, Mélanges d’économie politique, (1853) [PDF]
  • Molinari, Cours d'économie politique (1855, 1863) [HTML1 - HTML2]
  • Baudrillard, Études de philosophie morale et de l’économie politique (1858)
  • Passy, De la propriété intellectuelle (1859) [PDF]
  • Block, Dictionnaire générale de la politique(1862–64)
  • Levasseur, Histoire des classes ouvrières en France depuis la Révolution (1867)
  • Leroy-Beaulieux, L’État moderne et ses fonctions (1890) [PDF] - [English trans. HTML]
  • L. Say, Nouveau dictionnaire d’économie politique (1891-92) [List]
  • L. Say, Les Finances de la France sous la troisième république (1898-1901)

 

My Papers and Essays on the Paris School

Claude Destutt de Tracy (1754-1836)

Benjamin Constant (1767-1830)

 

Joseph Garnier (1813-1881)

Michel Chevalier (1806-1879)

Dictionnaire de l'Économie politique (1852-53)

Some recent blog posts:

  1. An Introduction to the Paris School of Political Economy” (7 Aug. 2022)
  2. The Guillaumin Network and the Paris School of Political Economy” (7 Aug. 2022)
  3. A Publishing History of the Guillaumin Firm (1837-1910)” (5 Aug. 2022)
  4. Some Thoughts on Editing, Translating, and Displaying online the Work of the French “Économistes”” (4 Aug. 2022)
  5. Frédéric Bastiat’s Philosophy of Markets” (17 July, 2022)
  6. J.B. Say and the Transformation of Restoration French Liberalism” (20 November, 2021)
  7. The Scandalous Neglect of Classical Liberal Sociology” (30 May, 2021)
  8. Bastiat’s Anti-socialist Pamphlets, or “Mister Bastiat’s Little Pamphlets”” (13 May, 2021)
  9. The Socialist Critique of Private Property and Free Markets and the French Political Economists’ Response” (12 May, 2021)
  10. The Socialist Critique of Private Property and Free Markets. Part I: The French" (8 Feb. 2021)
  11. The Institut Coppet’s Collected Works of Molinari” (9 December, 2020)
  12. Molinari’s articles in the Dictionnaire de l’économie politique (1852-53)” (14 October, 2020)
  13. Gustave de Molinari and the Story of the Monopolist Grocer” (3 June, 2020)
  14. Bastiat on the Seen and the Unseen” (29 May, 2020)
  15. Some Key Terms used by Bastiat in his Economic Theory” (22 December, 2019)
  16. The Books on Harmony and Disharmony Bastiat never wrote” (21 Dec. 2019)
  17. Celebrating the Bicentennial of the birth of Gustave de Molinari (1819-1912)” (2 Dec. 2018)

The full collections of papers:

  1. "Vocabulary Clusters in the Thought of Frédéric Bastiat" (July 2022) [HTML]
  2. “Bastiat on the Seen and The Unseen: An Intellectual History”. An unpublished paper (27 June, 2022). [HTML]
  3. "J.B. Say and the Transformation of Restoration French Liberalism" (Nov. 2021) [HTML] and also a blog post
  4. “Bastiat’s Theory of Class: The Plunderers vs. the Plundered”. An unpublished paper (16 July, 2021). [HTML]
  5. “Bastiat’s Economic Harmonies: A Reassessment after 170 Years.” A Paper given to the Political Economy Project, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire (7 Jan. 2020). [HTML]
  6. “Bastiat’s Theory of Harmony and Disharmony.” A Paper given to the American Institute for Economic Research, Great Barrington, Mass. (Jan. 2020). [HTML]
  7. “Was Molinari a True Anarcho-Capitalist?: An Intellectual History of the Private and Competitive Production of Security.” A paper given at the Libertarian Scholars Conference, New York City (28 Sept. 2019). [HTML]
  8. “Some Thoughts on an ‘Austrian Theory Of Film’: Ideas and Human Action in a Film about Frédéric Bastiat” (Sept. 2019). A paper given at the Libertarian Scholars Conference, New York City (28 Sept. 2019). [HTML]
    1. See also “’Broken Windows’. A Screenplay about the Life and Work of Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850)” (2016) [HTML]
    2. with an accompanying “Illustrated History of the Life and Work Frédéric Bastiat” [HTML]
  9. “The Paris School of Liberal Political Economy” in The Cambridge History of French Thought, ed. Michael Moriarty and Jeremy Jennings (Cambridge University Press, 2019), pp. 301-12. Also a much longer version - “The Paris School of Liberal Political Economy, 1803–1853” (March 2018) [HTML]
  10. Social Class and State Power: Exploring an Alternative Radical Tradition, ed. David M. Hart, Gary Chartier, Ross Miller Kenyon, and Roderick T. Long (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). I wrote most of the Introduction, pp. ix-xxii. And organized most of the extracts. Info at Palgrave website.
  11. Introduction and Notes to a revised translation of Bastiat’s The Law (June 2018) [HTML]
  12. "A Reader’s Guide to Bastiat’s The Law (June 1850)" (Oct. 20170) [HTML]
  13. Introduction and Notes to the revised translation of Bastiat’s The State (Feb. 2018) [HTML]
  14. “Introduction to the Texts" to The Bicentennial Anthology of Gustave de Molinari's Writings on The State (Nov. 2018, revised Nov. 2020) [HTML]
  15. “Gilbert-Urbain Guillaumin (1801-64) and the Guillaumin publishing firm (1837-1910)" (Jan. 2017) - a list of their publications and an analysis of their history [HTML]
  16. “Plunderers, Parasites, and Plutocrats: Some Reflections on the Rise and Fall and Rise and Fall of Classical Liberal Class Analysis”. A paper given at The Libertarian Scholars Conference, NYC (20 Oct. 2018). [HTML]
  17. “Bastiat goes to the Movies, or “Filming Freddie”: How to Popularise Economic Ideas in Film” (Apr. 2017) . A paper given at the APEE Annual Conference, April 2017, Maui, Hawaii. [HTML]
  18. "Frédéric Bastiat: The 'Unseen' Radical". The Henry Hazlitt Memorial Lecture given at the Austrian Economics Research Conference, Mises Institute, Auburn, AL. 10 March, 2017. [HTML]
  19. “For Whom the Bell Tolls: The School of Liberty and the Rise of Interventionism in French Political Economy in the Late 19thC," and a translation of Passy, “The School of Liberty” Journal of Markets and Morality, vol. 20, Number 2 (Fall 2017), pp. 383-412. [HTML] and PDFs at the journal website [PDF1] and [PDF2]
  20. "The Importance of Frédéric Bastiat (1801–1850): Some Notes and Thoughts" (Oct. 2017) [HTML]
  21. “The Life of Jacques Bonhomme, Printer (1819-1865): a Classical Liberal Story” (2016) [HTML]
  22. “"Bastiat’s Theory of Class: The Plunderers vs. the Plundered" An introduction to a bilingual anthology of Bastiat’s writings on class and exploitation (May 2016, updated July 2021) [HTML]
  23. ”Charles Coquelin, Gustave de Molinari, Frédéric Bastiat and the “Austrian Moment” in French Political Economy 1845-1855: Part II. Molinari and the Private Production of Security" (2016) [HTML]
  24. “The Struggle against Protectionism, Socialism, and the Bureaucratic State: The Economic Thought of Gustave de Molinari, 1845-1855." Unpublished Paper given at the Austrian Economics Research Conference, 31 March to 2 April 2016, The Mises Institute, Auburn, Alabama. [HTML]
  25. A revised translation of Molinari’s “Eleventh Soirée” (with additional footnotes) from Gustave de Molinari, Les Soirées de la Rue Saint-Lazare; entretiens sur les lois économiques et defense de la propriété (Paris: Guillaumin, 1849), "Onzième Soirée," pp. 303-37. In Panarchy; Political Theories of Non-Territorial States. Edited by Aviezer Tucker, Gian Piero de Bellis. Routledge Studies in Social and Political Thought (2016). [HTML]
  26. “Gustave de Molinari and "The Seven Musketeers" of French Political Economy in the 1840s" (June, 2015, revised Aug. 2018) [HTML]
  27. “A Readers Guide to the Work of Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850)” (2015, revised 2017). [OLL wsebsite]
  28. "The Liberal Roots of American Conservatism: Bastiat and the French Connection." A paper given to the Philadelphia Society meeting March 27–29, 2015 on “The Roots of American Conservatism - and its Future”. [HTML]
  29. "Reassessing Frédéric Bastiat as an Economic Theorist.” A paper presented to the Free Market Institute, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, October 2, 2015. [HTML]
  30. "Literature IN Economics, and Economics AS Literature I: Bastiat's use of Literature in Defense of Free Markets and his Rhetoric of Economic Liberty." A paper given at the Association of Private Enterprise Education International Conference (April 12-14, 2015), Cancún, Mexico. [HTML]
  31. "Literature IN Economics, and Economics AS Literature II: The Economics of Robinson Crusoe from Defoe to Rothbard by way of Bastiat." A paper given at the Association of Private Enterprise Education International Conference (April 12-14, 2015), Cancún, Mexico. [HTML]
  32. "Seeing the 'Unseen' Bastiat: the changing Optics of Bastiat Studies. Or, what the Liberty Fund's Translation Project is teaching us about Bastiat." A paper presented to the "Colloquium on Market Institutions and Economic Processes" at NYU, Monday, December 1, 2014. [HTML]
  33. “’Unfortunately, hardly anyone listens to the Economists’: The Battle against Socialism by the French Economists in the 1840s”. Talk given to the Centre for Independent Studies, Sydney, 8 July 2014. [HTML]
  34. “Negative Railways, Turtle Soup, talking Pencils, and House owning Dogs”: “The French Connection” and the Popularization of Economics from Say to Jasay.” (2014) . Published in a shorter version as “Broken Windows and House-Owning Dogs: The French Connection and the Popularization of Economics from Bastiat to Jasay," The Independent Review, 2015. Symposium on the work of Anthony de Jasay, pp. 61-84. [HTML]
  35. Finding and editing Bastiat’s revolutionary magazines led to the publication of Jacques Bonhomme: L’éphémère journal de Frédéric Bastiat et Gustave de Molinari (11 juin – 13 juillet 1848). Recueil de tous les articles, augmenté d’une introduction. Ed. Benoît Malbranque (Paris: Institut Coppet, 2014). [PDF] at Coppet Institut. Here on my website [HTML] and [facs. PDF]
  36. “On Ricochets, Hidden Channels, and Negative Multipliers: Bastiat on Calculating the Economic Costs of ‘The Unseen’.” A Paper given at the History of Thought Session of the Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, Southern Economic Association 83rd Annual Meeting, 24 Nov. 2013. [HTML]
  37. Contributions to Robert Leroux, “Bastiat and Political Economy” (July 1, 2013), with response essays by Donald J. Boudreaux, Michael C. Munger, and David M. Hart. Liberty Matters online discussion, the Online Library of Liberty
  38. “Is Biography History? The Relationship between Ideas and Human Action in the Life of Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850): A Biographical Approach.” A Paper given at the Historical Society’s conference on “Popularizing Historical Knowledge: Practice, Prospects, and Perils,” University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC, May 31 - June 3, 2012. [HTML]
  39. "Frédéric Bastiat’s Distinction between Legal and Illegal Plunder" - A Paper given at the Molinari Society Session “Explorations in Philosophical Anarchy” at the Pacific Meeting of the American Philosophical Society, Seattle WA, 7 April, 2012. [HTML]
  40. “Cato Institute Book Forum, 14 October, 2011: The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat, vol. 1" [HTML]
  41. "Opposing Economic Fallacies, Legal Plunder, and the State: Frédéric Bastiat’s Rhetoric of Liberty in the Economic Sophisms (1846-1850)". A paper given at the July 2011 annual meeting of the History of Economic Thought Society of Australia (HETSA) at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. [HTML]
  42. "Frédéric Bastiat (1801-50): His Writings in the Journal des Économistes (1844-1852)" (Sept. 2010) [HTML]
  43. "The World of French Political Economy in which Frédéric Bastiat lived” (Oct. 2010) [HTML]

A few things from the vault:

  1. "Gustave de Molinari and the Future of Liberty: ‘Fin de Siècle, Fin de la Liberté'?" (2001, revised Aug. 2021). A paper presented to the Australian Historical Association 2000 Conference on "Futures in the Past", The University of Adelaide, 5-9 July, 2000. [HTML]
  2. My unoublished PhD thesis: Class Analysis, Slavery and the Industrialist Theory of History in French Liberal Thought, 1814-1830: The Radical Liberalism of Charles Comte and Charles Dunoyer (unpublished PhD, King’s College Cambridge, 1994) [accessible from here]
  3. my undergraduate Honours thesis: “Gustave de Molinari and the Anti-statist Liberal Tradition” (1979) [HTML]