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A brief look at Say's Law: Attempting to understand its relevance and meaning

Tarnell, Brown (2011): A brief look at Say's Law: Attempting to understand its relevance and meaning.

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Abstract

Although little talked about in contemporary economics, the collection of principles popularly known as Say‟s Law were profoundly influential upon economists of the classical era. Kates (1997), who has quite a bit to say on the subject and receives much attention here, ascribes such importance to Say‟s Law that he sees it as the point of origin for Keynes‟ General Theory, which sought to destroy this Law through oversimplification. Preoccupied as the collaborators (Say, James and John Stuart Mill) were with causes of depression, unemployment and growth, perhaps these forgotten dictums retain some relevance to these times. This paper seeks to explore the relevance and importance of Say‟s Law by researching the relevant literature, and offering a tripartite point of view; 1) the author‟s own take on Say as a whole, 2) Say as interpreted by John Stuart Mill, and 3) a look at the equivalence of Say‟s definition of savings and growth with the modern interpretation of it

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