História do pensamento económico

Keywords: História do pensamento económico, Adam Smith, Alfred Marshall, Aristóteles, David Ricardo, Fisiocracia, Friedrich Hayek, Ibn Khaldun, John Stuart Mill

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O pensamento econômico pré-moderno

Diversos filósofos antigos fizeram observações de cunho econômico. Dentre eles, Aristóteles é provavelmente o mais importante.

Os árabes medievais também fizeram contribuições para a compreensão da economia. Em particular, Ibn Khaldun de Tunis (1332-1406) escreveu uma teoria política e econômica em seu Prolegomena mostrando, por exemplo, como a densidade da população é relacionada com a divisão do trabalho, que leva ao crescimento econômico que, por sua vez, conduz a uma população maior, formando um círculo virtuoso.

Early Western precursors of economics engaged in the scholastics theological debates during the middle ages. An important topic of discussion was the determination of the just price of a good. In the religious wars following the Reformation in the 16th century, ideas about free trade appeared, later formulated in legal terms by Hugo de Groot or Grotius (Mare liberum).

O pensamento econômico moderno

During the Early Modern period, mercantilists came closer to establishing an economic theory. This diverse school mirrored the emergence of nation states in Western Europe and they emphasized keeping a positive balance of payments.


During the Enlightenment, the French physiocrats were among the first to consider economics in and of itself. The most important physiocrat was arguably Francois Quesnay (other contemporary French thinkers include Richard Cantillon and Anne Turgot).

O pensamento econômico contemporâneo

The physiocrats were soon overshadowed by Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, published in 1776. Today it is customary to consider Smith the founder of economic theory - and the classical economics that developed after him to be the beginnings of formal economic study.

The history of the various schools of thought in economics can be loosely categorised as follows:

For an overview of macroeconomic schools, see macroeconomics. In brief, this includes mainly,

Contemporary alternative schools outside the mainstream of economic thought include:

Neoclassical economics dominates in undergraduate textbooks. The core of contemporary economics rests on the microeconomic theory of neoclassical economics, but on many topics there is little agreement on which schools to develop to usefully explain existing economies. Outside mainstream economics more widely-divergent views abound.

Some extremely important tools, such as game theory, econometrics, and linear programming, do not easily fall unambiguously into only one of the schools listed above.

Economics and political thought

Throughout the history of economic thought, different political ideas have often been associated with different schools of thought about how economies operate. For example, Adam Smith used his theories of trade and of the division of labour to argue for laissez-faire government economic policies, particularly against mercantilism. Similarly, Marx developed his theories, which focus on production and labor, to advocate socialism and communism.

An example of another economic system which has recently been advocated is the participatory economics model. This uses neither market methods nor centralised methods for allocation, but incorporates many local positive and negative feedback loops in order to respond to the most positive human values. In "-ist" terminology, the participatory economics model is neither communist nor capitalist.

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Keywords: História do pensamento económico, Adam Smith, Alfred Marshall, Aristóteles, David Ricardo, Fisiocracia, Friedrich Hayek, Ibn Khaldun, John Stuart Mill