Fascimile of Quesnay’s Tableau On the right side we see a copy of the Tableau Économique of François Quesnay, with its famous “zig-zag” (click for a bigger. François Quesnay’s achievement is one of the most remarkable in the history of economics. He published his first article on an economic problem in when. Quesnay identified three distinct classes: A view of Quesnay’s original Tableau Economique shows a zigzag flow.

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On this basis, millions of revenue can furnish subsistence to three million families of four persons of all ages each. The Physiocrats believed that an economy’s power derived from its agricultural sector.

Noli me tangere is the motto of these advances. Views Read Edit View history. In he graduated as a doctor of medicine; he became physician in ordinary to the king, and afterwards his first consulting physician, and was installed in the Palace of Versailles.

This page was last edited on 17 Januaryat Elected to the Academy of Science inQuesnay became a member of Royal Society inand the same year he was made a noble by the king. Quesnay believed, in opposition to the then-dominant French mercantiliststhat high taxes and high barriers to imported goods were the cause of French poverty.

As such, a particular exchange of a dollar for a good must be completed before that dollar can be reused in exchange for another good. The economy produces a surplus of food, and neither the farmer nor the artisan can afford to consume more than a subsistence level of food. At the top in the center is the landlord. Farmer has a francios of grain, Artisan has a stock of crafts and the Landlord has the entire stock of cash.

The expenses furnished by the annual advances of the productive class, which also are renewed each year, and of which about a half is spent on food for the cattle and the other half in paying wages to the men engaged in the work of this class, add millions of expenditures which can, with the part of the other products which are added to eclnomique, furnish subsistence for another million heads of families.


The Eurasian Exchange, to We use the term ” cash ” to denote, well, cash. These advances demand, moreover, much up-keep and renewals; hence the total of interest on the original advances for establishing the Husbandmen is, livres.

Mixing all these ingredients together, he came up with his famous economic theory. The methodology of Quesnay’s physiocratic system and his principles of policy sprang from an extreme form of the doctrine of natural lawwhich he believed represented the divinely appointed economic order. The Tableau is an insult to common sense, to reason, and philosophy, with its columns of figures of reproduction nette terminating always in a zero, striking symbol of the fruit of the researches of any one simple enough to try in vain to understand it.

Our diagram only shows the summary flows of the zig-zag.

North America, Africa, South America. Reprint, edited by M. While Quesnay’s model had many limitations, he recognized that his idealized “natural” system did not reflect reality, and thus he argued that the government should lift restrictions allowing the natural economic order to emerge. This assumption is not necessary, but we will do it for simplicity. Quesnay advocated reforming these laws by consolidating and reducing taxes, getting rid of tolls and other regulations that prevented trade within France, and generally freeing the economy from the government’s stifling controls.

The Physiocrats are at the beginning of the anti-mercantilist movement. His first work appeared only as encyclopedia articles in and We are not speaking here of small-scale cultivation carried on with oxen, in which more than a million plows would be needed, and about 2, men to exploit 40 million acres of land, which would yield only two-fifths as much as large-scale cultivation does.

François Quesnay

He was well aware, though, that he created an idealized “natural” system and he repeatedly noted that “real” conditions are never as smooth as the example in the Tableau. The only good which France had in enough excess to export was food; therefore, international trade based on industrial production would not yield as much wealth.


The diagram above is simplified slightly, but not so as to require any modification of Quesnay’s Explanation. The annual advances of livres in sterile expenses are employed for the capital and the expenses of commerce, for the purchase of raw materials for the handicrafts, and for the subsistence and other needs of the artisan until he has finished and sold his product. He identified four types of capital, according to the type of expenditure:.

François Quesnay – New World Encyclopedia

Credit is due under the terms of this license that can reference both the New World Encyclopedia contributors and the selfless volunteer contributors of the Wikimedia Foundation.

That is the difference between the Tableau and other circular flow diagrams.

In the direct part of the zig-zag the firms pay each other for goods Farmer buys crafts; Artisan buys grain. These reforms were much more sensible than his theorizing about the sterility of industry.

The Proprietor subsists by means of the livres which he spends. Although Quesnay was wrong quesna the sterility of the manufacturing sector, he was right in ascribing France’s poverty to mercantilism, which he called Colbertisme after Louis XV’s finance minister, Colbert. Non-wage capital is acquired from his previously-produced stock of grain we will see this happens to be the entire remainder of the stock he didn’t sell during the zig-zag. This article abides by terms of the Creative Commons CC-by-sa 3.

His father worked as a ploughman and merchant.

Because of his admiration of ConfucianismQuesnay’s followers bestowed him with the title “Confucius of Europe. Volume 22, East and West: