Jean-Baptiste Say

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Definition of 'Jean-Baptiste Say'

Jean-Baptiste Say was a French economist, businessman, and politician. He is best known for his Say's law, which states that "supply creates its own demand". Say was also a proponent of free trade and laissez-faire economics.

Say was born in Lyon, France, in 1767. He studied law at the University of Paris, but he never practiced law. Instead, he became a businessman and industrialist. He founded a successful textile factory in Lyon and also served as mayor of the city.

In 1803, Say published his most famous work, "Traité d'économie politique" ("Treatise on Political Economy"). In this book, Say developed his theory of Say's law. Say argued that the supply of goods and services creates its own demand. In other words, if businesses produce more goods and services, then people will have more money to buy those goods and services. This will lead to economic growth and prosperity.

Say's law was a key part of classical economics. It was used to justify free trade and laissez-faire economics. However, Say's law has been criticized by some economists. They argue that Say's law does not take into account the role of money in the economy. They also argue that Say's law does not take into account the possibility of a recession or depression.

Despite these criticisms, Say's law remains an important part of economic thought. It is a key concept in understanding the relationship between supply and demand.

In addition to his work in economics, Say was also a politician. He served as a member of the French National Assembly from 1819 to 1824. He was also a member of the French Academy of Sciences.

Say died in Paris in 1832. He is considered one of the most important economists of the 19th century.

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