Knowledge, Truth and the History of Economic Thought
Edited by Stephan Boehm, Christian Gehrke, Heinz D. Kurz and Richard Sturn
Chapter 17: Contemporary responses to the Tableau Economique
17. Contemporary responses to the Tableau ƒconomique Richard van den Berg* Calculations are to the economic science what bones are to the human body. Without them it will always be a vague and confused science, at the mercy of error and prejudice. (Fran•ois Quesnay)1 More than 240 years after Fran•ois QuesnayÕs Tableau ƒconomique was published, the fascination of economists with this first formal depiction of the circular flow of goods and money in the economy continues. Indeed, in recent decades QuesnayÕs attempt to outline a quantitative ÔskeletonÕ of the economy has received the most unanimously positive press since it was first exposed to the world. As is quite well known, the earlier reception of the Tableau was far less favourable. Many of the books and articles about QuesnayÕs model note the mixed reception it received in the past by starting with a short enumeration of the opinions of famous earlier students of the Tableau. However, a preoccupation with the alleged similarities between QuesnayÕs analysis and current economic theories often prevents a more than cursory look at the opinions of earlier commentators.2 In particular, little seems to have been written about the reception of the Tableau ƒconomique by QuesnayÕs contemporaries. In this paper an attempt is made to fill what is felt to be a lacuna in the literature about the Tableau ƒconomique, by means of a re-examination of the earliest responses to this novel analytical tool. There are two reasons for this...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.