Fascimile of Quesnay’s Tableau On the right side we see a copy of the Tableau Économique of François Quesnay, with its famous “zig-zag” (click for a bigger. François Quesnay’s achievement is one of the most remarkable in the history of economics. He published his first article on an economic problem in when. Quesnay identified three distinct classes: A view of Quesnay’s original Tableau Economique shows a zigzag flow.

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It was regarded by the followers of Quesnay as entitled to a place amongst the foremost products of human wisdom, and is named by the elder Mirabeau, in a passage quoted by Adam Smith[6] as one of the three qudsnay inventions which have contributed most to the stability of political societies, the other two being those of writing and of money.

Note that that the numbers are not payments, but merely quantities reflecting the output flows. In other projects Wikimedia Commons Wikiquote Wikisource.

Our diagram only shows the summary flows of the zig-zag. On this basis, millions of revenue can furnish subsistence to three million families of four persons of all ages each. Farmer pays Laborer for his labor input, who then uses cash income to buy crafts.

The Farmer has a stock of previously-produced grain, Artisan has a stock of previously-produced crafts and the Landlord has a stock of cash indeed, all the cash. The interest on these advances should amount to at least 10 perfor the products of agriculture are exposed to ruinous accidents, which in ten years destroy the value of at least one year’s crop. Down on the right side of the Tableau is the productive class Farmer and on the upper left side there is the Artisan.

This merely represents contracted future labor time. Apprenticed at the age of sixteen to a surgeon, he soon went to Paris, studied medicine and surgery there, and, having qualified as a master-surgeon, settled down to practice at Mantes. Its main colonial presence was in the Caribbean, southern North America, and southeast Asia, and like France, the colonies had agricultural-based economies. The publications in which Quesnay expounded his system were the following: The diagram above is simplified slightly, but not so as to require any modification of Quesnay’s Explanation.


All exchanges between different sectors must be monetized with one exception we shall note later. So “grain” includes not only wheat, oats and rye but also beef, leather, flax, hemp, wool, cotton, timber, etc. In tabbleau, he became royal surgeon, entering in the service of the Duke of Villeroy inand inwas awarded the rank of doctor of medicine.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. While the accepted founder of the classical school of economics is Adam Smithhe, in turn, acknowledged his indebtedness to the French Physiocratsthe pioneer school of economic thought which advocated a single land tax and free trade.

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Also, it was the ancestor of the multisectoral input-output systems of Wassily Leontief. Some restrictions may apply to use of individual images which are separately licensed.

HET: Quesnay’s Tableau Economique – Overview

This small-scale cultivation to which the Cultivators are reduced, from lack of riches to make the original advancesis carried on at the expense of the landed property itself, employed to a great extent for the expenses, and by excessive annual expenditures for the subsistence of the multitude of men occupied in this form of cultivation, which absorb almost all the product.

Louis XV esteemed Quesnay highly, and used to call him his thinker. The indirect part of the zig-zag represents the consumption needs of Laborers wages and the export needs of Merchants.

The expenses furnished by the annual advances of the productive class, which also are renewed each year, and of which about a half is spent on food for the cattle and the other half in paying wages to the men engaged in the work of this class, add millions of expenditures which can, with the part of the other products which are added to them, furnish subsistence for another million heads of families.

Non-wage capital is acquired from his previously-produced stock of grain we will see this happens to be the entire remainder of the stock he didn’t sell during the zig-zag. Physiocrats Classical liberalism Preclassical economics Agrarianism Agrarian theorists Economics models.

François Quesnay

In the next sectionwe will consider it in more detail, with a numerical example. He was well aware, though, that he created an idealized “natural” system and he repeatedly noted that “real” conditions are never as smooth as the example in the Tableau. The phrase laissez-fairecoined by fellow Physiocrat Vincent de Gournayis postulated to have come from Quesnay’s writings on China. Only land, Quesnay reasoned, produced more than went into it.


The total annual reproduction in net product, in annual advances with the interest thereon, and’ in interest on the original advances, reckoned in conformity with the order of the table, is 2,, livres.

François Quesnay – Wikipedia

In the expenditure of the livres of production, the Proprietor of the revenue buys livres of them. We use the term ” cash ” to denote, well, cash. As an attempt to support this position, Quesnay developed his famous Tableau Economiquewhich purportedly showed that the only productive sector was agricultureand that industry was “sterile,” i. Dashed queznay indicates the flow of an intangible service i. In his TableauQuesnay developed the notion of economic equilibrium, a concept frequently used as a point of departure for subsequent economic analyses.

We should note that our picture also permits us to regard each individual node as a particular stock of goods cash, grain, crafts, etc.

These wages are equal to the livres which this class receives from txbleau productive ecinomique, and the advances are equal to the livres of revenue which go to this same sterile class.

What is supplied to market is exchanged for cash; what is retained internally does not command cash. Industry and manufacturing, thought Quesnay, were sterile. The economiqye side of the Tableau represents the evonomique class farmer and the right side represents the “sterile” class artisan. The annual advances of livres in sterile expenses are employed for the capital and the expenses of commerce, for the purchase of raw materials for the handicrafts, and for the subsistence and other needs of the artisan until he has finished and sold his product.

This corresponds to the first line in Quesnay’s Tableau. It is broken down in certain “phases”. Since food cannot be stored easily, it is necessary to sell it to someone who can use it. Cleveland, “Biophysical economics”Encyclopedia of EarthLast updated: Before we begin, let us set aside some preliminary definitions and assumptions which we shall be using in our reconstruction.