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7-9 June 2018

The European Society for the History of the Economic Thought ( ESHET website,) promotes the teaching and research in the history of economic thought in Europe. 

President : Professor André Lapidus




The ESHET Council give awards at the annual Conference in Madrid, Spain, 7-June 2018 to three Prize-Winners, Members of PHARE.


Céline Bouillot ( PHARE, Université Paris 1) :"Vauban's fiscal reform: a will to enrich the kingdom of France"


            At the end of the 17th century one of the main concerns for English and French’s authors is the drastic increase of the public debt. The usual solution proposed at that time is to increase the quantity of money in the country through a trade surplus. However, Vauban’s solution is quite unusual: he offers a fiscal reform to increase the fluidity of money. In this paper this issue is then to understand why Vauban stands up for a fiscal reform as a project of political economy to enrich the country. It underlines the importance of the context of war on Vauban’s choice to stands up for a fiscal reform. Moreover, it shows that Vauban stresses the importance of the relation between trade, enrichment and taxation.


            A la fin du 17ème siècle, les auteurs anglais et français s’inquiètent de la hausse drastique de la dette publique. La solution habituellement proposée consiste à augmenter la quantité de monnaie dans le pays via une balance commerciale excédentaire. Cependant, Vauban suggère une autre solution : effectuer une réforme fiscale afin d’augmenter la vitesse de circulation de la monnaie. Ce papier a pour objet d’expliquer pourquoi Vauban défend une réforme fiscale comme projet d’économie politique permettant d’enrichir le pays. Il montre également l’importance du contexte de guerre sur le choix de Vauban de défendre une réforme fiscale. De plus, il montre que Vauban souligne l’importance du lien entre commerce, enrichissement et fiscalité. 



Michael Gaul (PHARE, Université Paris 1) : "Ricardo and the two gains from trade: the limitation of the theory of comparative advantage"


Abstract: In the "Essay" and the "Principles", Ricardo distinguished two gains from trade: a static gain consisting in an increase of the mass of commodities and a dynamic gain consisting in an increase of the profit rate. The additional element introduced in the "Principles" and not to be found in the "Essay" is a specification of the conditions for the realisation of the static gain, stating the irrelevance of absolute advantages. The question left open by Ricardo and usually neglected by commentators is whether the conditions for the realisation of the static gain are identical with the ones for the realisation of the dynamic gain. Addressing it requires a formalisation incorporating input trade. On this basis, Ricardo's general insight into the existence of two gains can be confirmed. However, the conditions for the realisation of the static gain are shown not to be identical with the conditions for the realisation of the dynamic gain.



Léon Guillot (PHARE, Université, Paris 1) : "Widening Wicksell’s political economy: his thoroughly revolutionary programme"


In the introduction of the first volume of Föreläsningar i nationalekonomi in 1901, Knut Wicksell (1851-1926) claims that “the very concept of political economy […] implies, strictly speaking, a thoroughly revolutionary programme”. I argue that Wicksell’s roles of social and economic reformer cannot be separated and his contribution to both fields has to be considered as a whole. In the beginning of the 1890’s Wicksell claimed that economic and social problems may be solved only by a complete social reorganisation, i.e. the implementation of social justice.


Dans l’introduction de son premier volume de son Föreläsningar i nationalekonomi in 1901, Knut Wicksell (1851-1926) explique que le concept d’économie politique implique un « thoroughly revolutionary programme ». Je montre que les rôles de réformateur économique et social ne peuvent être séparés et que sa contribution dans ces deux champs doit être considérée dans son ensemble. Au début des années 1890 Wicksell expliquait que les problèmes sociaux et économiques ne pourraient être résolus que par une réorganisation sociale complète ; par la mise en place de la justice sociale.