Since the 12th century our views of the economy have been constantly changing. What is going on in "our world" have always shaped peoples opinions of everyday outcomes. Each of the Schools of thought/Economic thinkers show what was going on during their time through their visions. They also show how value has changed through what people during the different times found important. Every School of thought and Economic thinker, no matter how right or wrong, has contributed to how we think today about some of the most complicated and minuscule isses. All of these people and sociteies are imperative to todays development.


12th century - 16th century
scholastics or schoolmen
a method of critical thought which dominated teaching by the academics of medieval universities in Europe
a strong emphasis on dialectical reasoning to extend knowledge by inference, and to resolve contradictions
Students were taught to argue from reason, experience, and authority



16th century - late 18th century
is the economic doctrine in which government control of foreign trade is of paramount importance for ensuring the prosperity and security of the state
demands a positive balance of trade
dominated Western European economic policy and discourse
The exportation of finished goods was favored over extractive industries like farming
The goal of these policies was, supposedly, to achieve a “favorable” balance of trade that would bring gold and silver into the country and also to maintain domestic employment



second half of the 18th century
theories originated in France
a group of economists who believed that the wealth of nations was derived solely from the value of "land agriculture" or "land development."
Francios Quesnay Tableau Enominique
a model of the flows of commodities among the three sectors

man_arrow.pngAfter schools of thought were present, people themselves begin to develop their own ideas on how the economy should, would, and could function.


Adam Smith
18th century
Lassiez Faire
a doctrine opposing governmental interference in economic affairs beyond the minimum necessary for the maintenance of peace and property rights
“system of natural liberty” where individual effort was the producer of social good
explanation of how rational self-interest in a free-market economy leads to economic well-being



Thomas Robert Malthus
late 18th century - mid 19th century
Malthusian Population Priniciple
widely known for his theories about population and its increase or decrease in response to various factors
thought that the dangers of population growth would preclude endless progress towards a utopian society
food production tends to increase arithmetically, population tends to increase naturally at a geometric rate



David Ricardo
19th century
law of comparative advantage
a fundamental argument in favour of free trade among countries and of specialisation among individuals
opposed the protectionist Corn Laws, which restricted imports of wheat
The Iron Law of Wages
a proposed law of economics that asserts that real wages always tend, in the long run, toward the minimum wage necessary to sustain the life of the worker



J.S. Mill
mid 19th century - late 19th century
contributor to social theory, political theory, and political economy
his conception of liberty justified the freedom of the individual in opposition to unlimited state control
He was a proponent of utilitarianism, an ethical theory developed by Jeremy Bentham
Principle of Utility
an ethical theory holding that the proper course of action is the one that maximizes the overall "happiness" for the greatest number of people