Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vii

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Introduction

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pp. ix-xxii

In 1721, when the French authorities decided to introduce the Visa, a retrospective tax on those who had enriched themselves through John Law’s Mississippi System, the world’s first financial bubble, Richard Cantillon featured as one of the prominent millionaires...

Part 1

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1. Of wealth

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pp. 3-3

Land is the source or the matter from which wealth is derived; labor is the form that produces it, and wealth in itself is nothing other [2] than food, commodities, and the comforts of life.
Land produces grasslands, roots, cereals, linen, cotton, hemp...

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2. Of human societies

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pp. 3-5

Irrespective of the way human society is constituted, the ownership of habitable land will nevertheless necessarily belong to a small number of people.
It is necessary for the leader or king in nomadic societies, such...

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3. Of villages

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pp. 5-6

Irrespective of the type of land cultivation, whether it is in pasture, wheat, or vineyards, it is always necessary for the farmers or laborers who work on them to live nearby; otherwise too much of the day would be taken up by time spent in going...

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4. Of market towns

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pp. 6-8

There are some villages where markets have been established due to the interest of a landlord or a royal courtier. These markets, held once or twice a week, encourage several small entrepreneurs and merchants to establish themselves there...

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5. Of cities

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pp. 8-9

The owners of small estates normally live in towns and villages near their land and their farmers. The transportation of the commodities originating from them to distant towns [17] would deprive them of the means of living comfortably...

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6. Of capital cities

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pp. 9-10

A capital city is established in the same way as a provincial city, with the difference that the largest landlords in the state reside there, the king or the supreme government lives there and spends the state’s revenues there, the courts of final appeal are based there...

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7. The work of a laborer is worthless than that of a craftsman

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pp. 10-11

A laborer’s son, at the age of seven or twelve years, starts to help his father either by minding flocks, or digging earth, or carrying out other rural works that require neither art nor skill.
If the father makes him learn a trade, he loses because of his...

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8. Some craftsmen earn more and others less according to different cases and circumstances

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pp. 11-12

If there are two tailors who make all the clothes of a village, one may have more customers than the other either because of his method of attracting business, or because his work is superior or more durable than the other, or because he...

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9. The number of laborers, craftsmen, and others who work in a state is naturally proportioned to the need for them

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pp. 12-13

If all of a village’s laborers raise many sons for the same work, there will be too many of them to cultivate the village’s lands, and it will be necessary for these surplus adults to go elsewhere to earn their living, as is normally the case for...

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10. The price and intrinsic value of a thing in general is the amount of land and labor required to produce it

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pp. 14-16

One acre of land produces more wheat, or feeds more sheep, than another acre. As already explained, a man’s work is more expensive than that of another according to his skill and the circumstances of the time. If two acres of land...

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11. Of the par or relation between the value of the land and the value of labor

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pp. 16-21

It does not appear that Providence has given the right of land ownership to one man rather than to another. The oldest titles are founded on violence and on conquest. Today the lands of Mexico belong to the Spanish and those of Jerusalem to...

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12. All classes and men in the state are maintained or enriched at the expense of the landlords

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pp. 21-23

Only the prince and the landlords live independently; all the other classes and inhabitants are hired or are entrepreneurs. In the next chapter the proof and detail of this will be more particularly developed.
It is evident that if the prince and the land owners [56] closed their lands and refused to allow people to work them...

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13. The circulation and exchange of goods, as well as the production of goods and of merchandise, are carried out in Europe by entrepreneurs in conditions of risk

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pp. 24-28

The farmer is an entrepreneur who, without any certainty about what advantages he will derive from the enterprise, promises to pay the owner a fixed sum of money for his farm or land—which is normally assumed to be equal in value...

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14. The moods, fashions, and modes of living of the prince and, more particularly, of the landlords determine the uses to which the land is put and are responsible for variations in the market prices of all things

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pp. 28-31

If the owner of a landed estate (which I wish to consider here as if it were unique in the world) farms it himself, he will pursue his desires in deciding the uses to which it will be put. (1) He will necessarily use part of it for grain in order to feed all the laborers...

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15. The increase and decrease of the state’s population depends principally on the tastes, fashions, and modes of living of the landlords

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pp. 32-40

Experience shows that it is possible to multiply trees, plants, and other types of vegetables to any extent consistent with the amount of land assigned to their cultivation.
The same experience shows that it is equally possible...

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16. The more labor in a state,the greater the extent that it is considered naturally wealthy

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pp. 40-44

It is easy to see from a long calculation in the supplement [114] that the work of twenty-five adult people is sufficient to provide a hundred other adults with all the necessities for living according to our European standard of consumption...

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17. Of metals and money,particularly gold and silver

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pp. 44-51

Just as the land yields more or less wheat according to its fertility and the labor applied to it, so also the iron, lead, tin, gold, and silver [127] mines, and the like produce more or less of these metals according to the richness of these mines...

Part 2

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1. Of barter

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pp. 55-56

In the preceding part, an attempt was made to prove that the real value of all things used by mankind is proportional to the quantity of [152] land used for their production and for the upkeep of those who produced it. In this second...

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2. Of market prices

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pp. 56-57

Let us assume that there are butchers on one side and buyers on the other. The price of meat will be determined after some bargaining. A pound of beef will be approximately valued in silver [156] in the same way that all the meat presented...

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3. Of the circulation of money

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pp. 58-65

It is generally believed in England that a farmer must make three rents. The first is the principal and true rent that he pays [160] to the owner, which is supposed to be equal to one-third of the produce of his farm; the second is a rent...

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4. Further reflection on the rapidity or slowness of the circulation of money in exchange

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pp. 65-69

Let us suppose that the farmer pays 1,300 ounces of silver each quarter to the landlord, who each week pays 100 ounces to the baker, the butcher, and so forth, and that these entrepreneurs repay these 100 ounces each week to the farmer...

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5. Of the inequality in the circulation of actual money in a state

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pp. 69-74

The city always furnishes many commodities to the countryside, and the landlords who live there must always receive about one-third of the land’s produce. Thus the countryside owes more than half of the land’s produce to the city. If all of the landlords...

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6. Of the increase and reduction in the actual quantity of money in a state

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pp. 74-80

If gold or silver mines are discovered in a state, and if considerable quantities of minerals are mined from them, the owner of these mines, the entrepreneurs, and all those who work in them will increase their expenditures proportionately...

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7. Continuation of the same topic relating to the increase or reduction of the actual quantity of money in a state

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pp. 81-83

Since gold, silver, and copper have an intrinsic value proportional to the land and labor that enter into their production at the mines, along with their costs of importation or introduction into the states that have no mines, the value of the quantity...

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8. Further reflection on changes in the quantity of money in a state

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pp. 83-91

We have seen that the quantity of money in a state can be expanded through the output of its mines, [240] subsidies from foreign powers, the immigration of foreign families, and the residence of ambassadors and travelers, but, above all, through...

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9. Of the interest of money and its causes

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pp. 91-97

Just as prices are determined through bargaining in markets by the quantity of things offered for sale relative to the quantity of money that is offered for them, or by what is the same thing, the relative number of buyers and sellers...

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10. The causes of the increase and decrease of the interest rate on money in a state

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pp. 97-101

It is a common idea, accepted by all who have written on trade, that the increase [283] in the quantity of actual money in a state lowers the rate of interest there, because when money is abundant it is far easier to find money to borrow...

Part 3

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1. Of foreign trade

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pp. 105-113

When, in foreign trade, a state exchanges a small product of land against a greater one, it appears to have the advantage in this trade, [298] and if money circulates more abundantly there than abroad, it will always exchange a smaller...

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2. Of the exchanges and their nature

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pp. 113-118

Within the city of Paris it usually costs 5 sols to carry a bag of 1,000 livres from one house [324] to another. If it were necessary to carry it from the Faubourg Saint Antoine to the Invalides it would cost more than double this, and...

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3. Further explanations toward an understanding of the nature of exchanges

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pp. 118-123

It has been shown that the exchanges are determined by the intrinsic value of specie, that is, at par, and that their difference comes from the costs and risks of transport from one place to another when the balance of trade has to be sent in specie...

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4. Of the changes in the proportion of values relative to metals that are used as money

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pp. 123-131

If metals were as easy to find as water commonly is, everyone would use [356] them for their needs, and these metals would have hardly any value. The metals that are the most abundant and cost the least trouble to produce are also the cheapest...

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5. Of the augmentation and diminution of the denominational value of coin

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pp. 131-136

According to the principles that have been established, the quantities of silver circulating [382] in exchange fix and determine all prices in a state, taking into account the rapidity or slowness of circulation.
During the augmentations and diminutions...

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6. Of banks and their credit

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pp. 136-139

If 100 thrifty nobles or landlords, who annually save money for occasional land purchases, each lodge 10,000 ounces of silver with a London goldsmith or banker, so as to avoid the trouble of minding this money [398] at home and to prevent...

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7. Other insights and inquiries concerning the utility of a National Bank

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pp. 139-144

It is of little importance to examine why the Bank of Venice, or that of Amsterdam, keeps its books in monies of account different from current money, and that there is always a transaction charge to convert these book credits into current...

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8. Of the refinements of credit of general banks

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pp. 144-172

The national Bank of London [Bank of England] is composed of a great number of shareholders who select directors to manage its operations. Their chief advantage consisted in making an annual distribution of the profits generated through the lending at interest of the funds deposited...

Index

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pp. 173-180