Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics
Cantillon on the Cause of the Business Cycle
Volume 9, No. 3 (Fall 2006)
Richard Cantillon was the first economist to successfully examine the cyclical nature of the capitalist economy. He lived at a time (168?–1734) when the institutions of the modern capitalist economy were first fully and widely established and the first major business cycles occurred. In contrast to the Mercantilists, Cantillon was an astute observer who developed a clear economic understanding of money, banking, international trade, and stock markets because this is where he risked his capital and earned his fortune. He modeled the economy as an interconnected whole and developed what we now know as the circular-flow model of the economy and the price-specie-flow mechanism of international money movements. He discovered that markets were regulated by the movements of prices based on supply and demand and identified equilibrating tendencies with market exchange.
Cite This Article
Thornton, Mark. "Cantillon on the Cause of the Business Cycle." The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 9, No. 3 (Fall 2006): 45–60.