Who Is?

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Who is Jean-Baptiste Say?

Who Is? Podcast

Tags BiographiesMoney and BanksHistory of the Austrian School of EconomicsProduction Theory

06/11/2018Per Bylund

Per Bylund explains the many contributions of Jean-Baptiste Say (1767–1832), a precursor to the Austrian school of economics. Today, Say is most well known for his “law of markets” which is now referred to simply as “Say’s Law.” Often misstated as “supply creates its own demand,” the law is that we produce and supply to the market in order that we may demand other goods in exchange. Production, therefore, is an indirect means to attain the goods and services we desire to meet our needs. 

Say also made contributions in the theory of money, including how it emerges spontaneously, and why the commodity serving as a medium of exchange needs characteristics of durability, divisibility, and high value per unit, with the choice of commodity should be left to consumer preferences. Other highlights include his distinction between banks of deposit and banks of circulation. 

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Contact Per Bylund

Per Bylund, PhD, is a Senior Fellow of the Mises Institute and Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Johnny D. Pope Chair in the School of Entrepreneurship in the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University, and an Associate Fellow of the Ratio Institute in Stockholm. He has previously held faculty positions at Baylor University and the University of Missouri. Dr. Bylund has published research in top journals in both entrepreneurship and management as well as in both the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics and the Review of Austrian Economics. He is the author of three full-length books: How to Think about the Economy: A Primer, The Seen, the Unseen, and the Unrealized: How Regulations Affect our Everyday Lives, and The Problem of Production: A New Theory of the Firm. He has edited The Modern Guide to Austrian Economics and The Next Generation of Austrian Economics: Essays In Honor of Joseph T. Salerno. He has founded four business startups and writes a column for Entrepreneur magazine. For more information see PerBylund.com.

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