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Jean-Baptiste Say

Jean-Baptiste Say (French: [batist s]; 5 January 1767 15 November 1832) was
Jean-Baptiste Say
a French economist and businessman. He had classically liberal views and argued in
favor of competition, free trade, and lifting restraints on business. He is best known
for Say's Law, also known as the law of markets, which he popularized. Scholars
disagree on the surprisingly subtle question of whether it was Say who first stated
what we now call Say's Law.[1][2]

Contents
1 Biography
2 Say's Law
3 Quotes
Born 5 January 1767
4 References
Lyon, France
5 Further reading
Died 15 November 1832
6 External links
(aged 65)
Paris, France

Biography Nationality French

Field Political economy


Jean-Baptiste Say was born in Lyon. His
father, Jean-Etienne Say, was born to a School or Classical liberalism
Protestant family which had moved from tradition
Nmes to Geneva for some time in Influences Richard Cantillon,
consequence of the revocation of the Edict of Adam Smith
Nantes. (His brother Louis Auguste (1774
Contributions Say's Law
1840) was also an economist). Say was
intended to follow a commercial career, and in 1785
was sent, with his brother Horace, to complete his
education in England. He lodged for a time in
Croydon, and afterwards (following a return visit to
Map of Croydon, drawn by France) in Fulham: during the latter period he was
the 18-year-old Say in 1785 employed successively by two London-based firms of
sugar merchants, James Baillie & Co and Samuel and
William Hibbert.[3][4] At the end of 1786 he
accompanied Samuel Hibbert on a voyage to France which ended in December with Hibbert's
death in Nantes. Say returned to Paris, where he found employment in the office of a life
assurance company directed bytienne Clavire.

His first literary attempt was a pamphlet on the liberty of the press, published in 1789. He
later worked under Mirabeau on the Courrier de Provence. In 1792 he took part as a volunteer
in the campaign of Champagne. In 1793 he assumed, in keeping with Revolutionary fashion,
Lettres a M. Malthus, 1820
the pseudonym "Atticus"; and he became secretary to Clavire, then finance minister
.
In 1793 Say married Mlle Deloche, daughter of a former lawyer. From 1794 to 1800 he edited a periodical, entitled La Decade
philosophique, litteraire, et politique, in which he expounded the doctrines of Adam Smith. He had by this time established his
reputation as a publicist, and, when the consular government was established in 1799, he was selected as one of the 100 members of
the Tribunat, resigning the editorship of theDecade.

In 1800, he published Olbie, ou essai sur les moyens de rformer les murs d'une nation. In 1803 he published his principal work,
the Trait d'conomie politique ou simple exposition de la manire dont se forment, se distribuent et se composent les richesses. In
1804, having proved unwilling to compromise his convictions in the interests of Napoleon, he was removed from the office of
tribune. He turned to industrial activities, and, having familiarised himself with the processes of cotton manufacture, established a
spinning-mill at Auchy-ls-Hesdin, in the Pas de Calais, which employed some 4500 people, mainly women and children. He
devoted his leisure time to revising his economic treatise, which had been out of print for some time; but the system of state
censorship in place prevented him from republishing it.

In 1814 he "availed himself" (to use his own words) of the relative liberty arising from the entrance of the allied powers into France
to bring out a second edition of the work, dedicated to the emperor Alexander I of Russia, who had professed himself his pupil. In the
same year the French government sent him to study the economic condition of the United Kingdom. The results of his observations
appeared in a tract, De l'Angleterre et des Anglais.

A third edition of the Trait appeared in 1817. A chair of industrial economy was established for him in 1819 at the
Conservatoire des
Arts et Mtiers. Also in 1819 he was one of the founders of the cole spciale de commerce et d'industrie, which became the first
business school in the world.[5] In 1831 he was made professor of political economy at the Collge de France. In 18281830 he
published his Cours complet d'economie politique pratique. In 1826, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish
Academy of Sciences.

In his later years Say became subject to attacks of nervous apoplexy. He lost his wife in January 1830; and from that time his health
constantly declined.

When the revolution of that year broke out, he was named a member of the council-general of the department of the Seine, but found
it necessary to resign.

He died in Paris on 15 November 1832, and was buried in thePre Lachaise Cemetery.

Say's Law
He is well known for Say's Law (or Say's Law of Markets), often summarised as

"Aggregate supply creates its own aggregate demand",


"Supply creates its own demand",
"Supply constitutes its own demand",
"If you build it, they will come",
"Inherent in supply is the wherewithal for its own consumption". (Direct translation from French
Trait d'conomie
politique.)
The exact phrase "supply creates its own demand" was coined by John Maynard Keynes, who criticized it, but this characterization is
disputed as a misrepresentation by some advocates of Say's law.[6] Similar sentiments, though different wordings, appear in the work
of J. S. Mill (1848) and his father, James Mill (1808). The Scottish classical economist James Mill restates Say's Law in 1808, writing
[7]
that "production of commodities creates, and is the one and universal cause which creates a market for the commodities produced."

In Say's language, "products are paid for with products" (1803: p. 153) or "a glut can take place only when there are too many means
of production applied to one kind of product and not enough to another" (1803: pp. 17879). Explaining his point at length, he wrote
that:[8]
It is worthwhile to remark that a product is no sooner created than it, from that instant, affords a market for other products
to the full extent of its own value. When the producer has put the finishing hand to his product, he is most anxious to sell
it immediately, lest its value should diminish in his hands. Nor is he less anxious to dispose of the money he may get for
it; for the value of money is also perishable. But the only way of getting rid of money is in the purchase of some product
or other. Thus the mere circumstance of creation of one product immediately opens a vent for other products. (J.B. Say,
1803: pp. 1389)

[9]
He also wrote, that it is not the abundance of money but the abundance of other products in general that facilitates sales:

Money performs but a momentary function in this double exchange; and when the transaction is finally closed, it will
always be found, that one kind of commodity has been exchanged for another
.

Say's Law may also have been culled from Ecclesiastes 5:11 "When goods increase, they are increased that eat them: and what
good is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes?" (KJV) Say's Law has been considered by John
[10]
Kenneth Galbraith as "the most distinguished example of the stability of economic ideas, including when they are wrong."

Quotes
On taxes

"To encourage whale-hunting, the English government prohibits vegetable oils which we burn in France in draught-lamps. What
results from this? That one of these lamps, which costs a Frenchmen 60 francs per year, costs an Englishman 150 francs. The
intention, some say, is to support the navy and to multiply the number of sailors, that each lamp nozzle costs Englishmen 90 more
francs than in France. In this case, it is to multiply the number of sailors by the means of a trade that generates losses: it would be
better to multiply them by a lucrative trade."

"A hard working laborer, I was told, fancied working by candlelight. He had calculated that, during his vigil, he burned a 4-penny
candle, earning 8 pennies by his work. A tax on tallows and another on the manufacture of the candles increased by 5 pennies the cost
of his luminary, which became thus more expensive than the value of the product that it could shed light upon. From then on, as soon
as night fell, the workman remained idle; he lost the 4 pennies which his work could obtain him, and without the tax service
perceiving anything out of this production. Such a loss must be multiplied by the number of the workmen in a city and by the number
of the days of the year."

On property rights

"There is no security of property, where a despotic authority can possess itself of the property of the subject against his consent.
Neither is there such security, where the consent is merely nominal and delusive."

"The property a man has in his own industry, is violated, whenever he is forbidden the free exercise of his faculties or talents, except
insomuch as they would interfere with the rights of third parties."

Jean-Baptiste Say, A Treatise on Political Economy, 1803

References
1. William O. Thweatt, Early Formulators of Say's Law, in Wood, John Cunningham (editor); Kates, Steven (editor)
(2000). Jean-Baptiste Say: Critical Assessments. V. London: Routledge. pp.7893 (https://books.google.com/book
s?id=EcaDC1q_eaAC&pg=PA78).
2. Braudel, The Wheels of Commerce: Civilisation and Capitalism 15th18th Century
, 1979:181 (https://books.google.c
om/books?id=WPDbSXQsvGIC&pg=PA181)
3. Lancaster, Brian (March 2012), "Jean-Baptiste Say's 1785 Croydon street plan",Croydon Natural History & Scientific
Society Bulletin, 144: 25
4. Lancaster, Brian (2015). "Jean-Baptiste Say'sFirst Visit to England (1785/6)".History of European Ideas. 41 (7):
92230.
5. Kaplan, Andreas (2014). "European management and European business schools: Insights from the history of
business schools". European Management Journal. 32 (4): 52934. doi:10.1016/j.emj.2014.03.006(https://doi.org/1
0.1016%2Fj.emj.2014.03.006).
6. (Clower 2004, p. 92 (https://books.google.com/books?id=tzzClShefiYC&pg=P
A92&dq=%22Supply+creates+its+own
+demand%22))
7. James Mill, Commerce Defended (1808), Chapter VI: Consumption(http://oll.libertyfund.org/index.php?option=com_
staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=1668&layout=html), p. 81
8. Information on Jean-Baptiste Say(http://cepa.newschool.edu/het/profiles/say
.htm)
9. Jean-Baptiste Say: A treatise on political economy; or the production distribution and consumption of wealth.
Translated from the fourth edition of the French. Batoche Books Kitchener 2001, p. 57
10. Galbraith, John Kenneth (1975),Money: Whence It Came, Where It Went, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, ISBN 0-395-
19843-7.

Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Say, Jean Baptiste". Encyclopdia Britannica(11th ed.). Cambridge University
Press.

Further reading
Hart, David (2008). "Say, Jean-Baptiste (17671832)". In Hamowy, Ronald. The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism. The
Encyclopedia of Libertarianism. Thousand Oaks, CA:SAGE; Cato Institute. pp. 44950. ISBN 978-1412965804.
LCCN 2008009151. OCLC 750831024. doi:10.4135/9781412965811.n274.
Hollander, Samuel (2005), Jean-Baptiste Say and the Classical Canon in Economics: the British Connection in
French Classicism, London and New York: Routledge, ISBN 0-415-32338-X.
Portrait: J.B. Say (17671832) .La nouvelle lettre, n1064 (29 janvier 2011): 8.
Schoorl, Evert (2012).Jean-Baptiste Say: Revolutionary, Entrepreneur, Economist. London: London.
ISBN 9781135104108.
Sowell, Thomas (1973), Say's Law: An Historical Analysis, Princeton University Press,ISBN 0-691-04166-0.
Teilhac, Ernest (1927). Loeuvre conomique de Jean-Baptiste Say. Paris.
Whatmore, Richard (2001),Republicanism and the French Revolution: An Intellectual History of Jean-Baptiste Say's
Political Economy, Oxford University Press,ISBN 0-19-924115-5.

External links
Works by or about Jean-Baptiste Sayat Internet Archive
Say's Law and Economic Growth
Jean-Baptiste Say (17671832). The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. Library of Economics and Liberty(2nd
ed.). Liberty Fund. 2008.
Nature of Things, by Jean-Baptiste Say. In Lalor's Cyclopedia at the Library of Economics and Liberty.
Federal Reserve Bank of DallasEconomic Insights article (Volume 11, Number 1)
A Treatise on Political Economy, by Jean-Baptiste Say at McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic
Thought
Letters to Malthus on Several Subjects of Political Economy (1821)at McMaster University Archive for the History of
Economic Thought
Jean-Baptiste Say at Find a Grave
Jean-Baptiste Say at Goodreads

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