Taxation and the Philosophy of Frédéric Bastiat

22 Pages Posted: 12 May 2014 Last revised: 21 May 2014

See all articles by Robert W. McGee

Robert W. McGee

Fayetteville State University - Department of Accounting

Date Written: May 12, 2014


Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850) was an economist and journalist. A member of the French Liberal School, he is best known for his free trade ideas and his philosophy of law. Mark Blaug ranks him as one of the 100 greatest economists before Keynes. Schumpeter called him a brilliant economic journalist. Haney devoted a chapter of his History of Economic Thought to Bastiat.

Although Bastiat is known for his work on free trade and the philosophy of law, he also wrote on other topics. To date, no one has examined his views on taxation. The purpose of this paper is to fill that gap in the literature. A bibliography with links to other Bastiat studies is also included.

Keywords: Bastiat, taxation, ethics, utilitarian, rights theory, public finance, French Liberalism, redistribution, property rights, gift tax, progressive taxation, Keynes, Keynesian multiplier, tariffs, capital gains tax, inheritance tax, estate tax, tax burden, property tax, subsidy, public works

JEL Classification: B1, B13, B53, D63, D72, F1, F13, H2, K11, K34, M4, P14, P16

Suggested Citation

McGee, Robert W., Taxation and the Philosophy of Frédéric Bastiat (May 12, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Robert W. McGee (Contact Author)

Fayetteville State University - Department of Accounting ( email )

Fayetteville, NC 28301
United States


Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics