Photo by Duke University

Quesnay, F (1694.6.4-1774.12.16)
Birthplace M?r?, France
Post Held Doctor; Consulting physician to Louis XV.
Publications Books: 1. Tableu ?conomique , (1758, 1972); 2. La physiocratie, 2 vols (1768); 3. Oeuvres economiques et philosophiques, (1888).
Articles: 1. 'Fermiers', Encyclop?die, 6, 1756; 2. 'Grains', Encyclop?die, 7, 1757.
Career The founder of the physiocratic school, he did not write on economics until he was in his sixties. His two Encyclop?die articles introduced the characteristic argument that only agriculture could produce a 'produit-net'. Despite his position close to the seat of power, he wrote articles critical of the r?gime, some of which were collected in A Physiocratie. Arguing from a concept of natural laws, in effect a description of the elements of a free enterprise system, he developed a version of society in which a strong monarch regulates affairs so that the natural order of things can operate freely. Because farmers and landowners were considered the truly productive classes in the physiocratic system, there was a counterbalancing disregard for the contributions of the merchant and industrialist. The criticism of privileged and unproductive groups, which were closely associated with the monarchy as it existed, was what made physiocracy a somewhat subversive doctrine. His Tableau ?conomique was first hailed by Marx, and has since come to be ragarded as a crude version of input-output analysis, pointing towards general equilibrium theory.
Secondary Literature R. L. Meek, The ?conomics of Physiocracy (A & U, 1962, Harvard Univ. Press, 1963); B. F. Hoselitz, `Quesnay, Fran?ois', International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences , D. L. Sills (ed.) (Macmillan and Free Press, 1968), vol. 13; M. Kuczynski and R. L. Meek, Quesnay's Tableau Economique (Augustus M. Kelly, 1972).

Le Droit Naturel (socsci.mcmaster.ca) Journal d'agriculture,septembre 1765
Le Droit Naturel (ecn.bris.ac.uk) Journal d'agriculture,septembre 1765
Le Droit Naturel (unimelb.edu.au) Journal d'agriculture,septembre 1765
Tableau Economique (1766) (socsci.mcmaster.ca)
Tableau Economique (1766) (ecn.bris.ac.uk)
Tableau Economique (1766) (unimelb.edu.au)


Other Information
Francois Quesnay - Selected primary works (socsci.mcmaster.ca)
Francois Quesnay - Selected primary works (ecn.bris.ac.uk)
Francois Quesnay - Selected primary works (unimelb.edu.au)


Relevant Texts
PHYSIOCRATS AND THE IMPOT UNIQUE (angelfire.com) by Roy Davidson


Other Image
Portraits of Famous Economists (bus.lsu.edu)


Go back to Akamac E-text Links