Quesnay and the Analysis of the Surplus in an Agrarian Capitalist Economy

In order to  discuss the “rational foundation” of some aspects of  Quesnay´s theory we  use  a simple formalization of the necessary connections between assumptions about  the techniques in use, the distribution of income between the classes and sectors the system of relative prices. We argue that  Quesnay´s system was  a truly capitalist agrarian economy and that he was  indeed a  pioneer of the classical political economy/surplus approach to economics as identified first by Marx,  Sraffa and Garegnani, the physical surplus of grains being  the necessary basis for his analysis of the distribution and  relative prices.

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