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François Quesnay

Quesnay, François (fräNswäˈ kĕnāˈ) [key], 1694–1774, French economist, founder of the physiocratic school. A physician to Louis XV, he did not begin his economic studies until 1756, when he wrote the articles "Fermiers" [farmers] and "Grains" for the Encyclopédie. His chief work was the Tableau économique [economic table] (1758), said to have been printed by the king's own hands. Quesnay and his followers believed that the Tableau summed up the natural law of economy. Quesnay and the other physiocrats greatly influenced the thought of Adam Smith. Quesnay's works have been collected in Œuvres économiques et philosophiques (with biographical studies and introduction, 1888).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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