Jean Baptiste Say

From CEOpedia | Management online
Jean Baptiste Say
See also

Jean Baptiste-Say was born in 1767 in Lyon, died in 1832 in Paris. As an enthusiast of the revolution idea in 1789, he became the editor-in-chief of the new daily " Le decade philosophique, litteraire et politique". After fulfilling various public functions he was a lecturer in economics, in particular in Conservatoire des Arts et Metiers and College de France.

Being deeply influenced by Adam Smith, he was the supporter of economic liberalism and the division of labour. However, what distinguished him from the classical English school, was a more optimistic vision of capital economy.

Theory of Value-Utility

In contrast to the classical English school, Say negates the value of labour theory and claims that the utility of things is the basis of its value. In his work entitled "A Treatise on Political Economy" he stated the following: " Although price is the measure of value of things, and their value the measure of their utility, it would be absurd to draw the interference, that by forcibly raising their price, their utility can be augmented. Exchangeable value, or price, is an index of the recognized utility of a thing."

Say's Law of Markets

Say's law of the markets is based on four basic assumptions: aggregate supply creates its own aggregate demand, supply creates its own demand, supply constitutes its own demand and inherent in supply is the necessary means for its own consumption.

Major works

  • A treatise on political economy (1803)
  • Catechisme d'economie politique (1815)


Author: Sławomir Pytel