Sir James Steuart on the Origins of the Exchange Economy
WP ECON 14.08
21 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2014
Date Written: October 7, 2014
This paper examines James Steuart’s explanation of the emergence of the exchange economy. An initial hypothesis holds the decisive influence of a plan designed and implemented by merchants. Our proposal evokes the importance, acknowledged by Steuart, of the construction of institutions, involving designs aimed at achieving self-interest purposes. It is argued that "commercial" subordination explains how individuals become dependent on a new institutional organisation. Finally, we conclude that Political OEconomy is a science of the artificial that seeks to understand the functioning of nonnatural mechanisms and to create instruments that the statesman adapts to the needs and of objectives individuals.
Keywords: James Steuart, development, institutions, subordination, economic system
JEL Classification: B12, O20, D02, Z13, P16
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation