Jean-Baptiste Say


DEFINITION of 'Jean-Baptiste Say'

A French classical, liberal economist and scholar. Jean-Baptiste Say is known for his contribution to Say's Law of Markets and for his work on "A Treatise On Political Economy". Say was born in 1767, taught political economy in France at Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers, and later at the College de France.

BREAKING DOWN 'Jean-Baptiste Say'

Say's Law roughly says that the economy is self-regulating so production is the source of demand but has been interpreted in many ways and is frequently misunderstood to mean "supply creates its own demand". Another famous economist, John Maynard Keynes, criticized his law. Say was heavily influenced by Adam Smith and promoted the laissez-faire philosophy. His contemporaries include Thomas Malthus and David Ricardo.

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