Origin of the economy


As we can see in the definition of economy, this is a social science that studies how to manage the available resources to satisfy human needs.

The economy is almost as old as humans. Since the first men began to plan food and organize the social community, they were already making use of this social science.

Beginning of the study of economics

The study of economics dates back to the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Greece, the Roman Empire, the Arab, Persian, Chinese, and Indian civilizations.

Economy of the Roman Empire

The greatest influence of this time comes from the Greeks, who used the word economy for the first time. Then they used it to refer to the administration of the home (oikonomia, oikos from home and nemein management and dispensing).

Plato gave a definition of economics divided into two parts, on the one hand, the study of domestic administration and on the other, the study of commerce. Aristotle was the first analytical economist, he referred to various economic issues, which have remained current since then, such as their economic definitions, exchange phenomena, and monetary and value theories.

In the Middle Ages, it is worth highlighting the contributions to the economy of feudalism and scholastic philosophy. Great characters such as Santo Tomás de Aquino, Antonio de Florencia and Ibn Jaldún stand out in economic science.

Principles of economics

The birth of economics as a science

Jesuit scholars of the Salamanca school established the first modern economic theories, defending the benefits of private property to economic activities. For these contributions they have been described on numerous occasions as founders of economic science, despite the fact that most of their contributions were missing until the twentieth century.

Later, the mercantilists and the physiocracy stood out:

  • The mercantilists, who claimed that through the exchange of goods and the accumulation of gold and silver wealth was generated.
  • Physiocracy said that wealth is only generated in agricultural tasks, and that the exchange of merchandise, and even industry, did not add any value. Unlike the mercantilists, the Physiocrats enacted the economic policy of the laissez faire, defending the free market against state interventionism.

Economics as an Independent Science

At the end of the 18th century is when economics began to be widely considered as a science, since the publication of Adam Smith's book, The Wealth of Nations. The publication of this book has come to be described as the true birth of economics as an independent scientific discipline, since until then it was encompassed within philosophy.

The theories postulated at this time are known as classical economics. In this trend, in addition to Adam Smith, the economists Thomas Robert Malthus, his essay on the principles of population and David Ricardo, with his theories of comparative advantage, the law of diminishing returns and theory on the Distribution of income.

Since then, several economic currents have emerged. Among them all include Marxism, Neoclassicism, Keynesianism, Monetarism, and Economic Liberalism.

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