Fifteen years after the Global Financial Crisis: Recessions and Business Cycles in the History of Economic Thought

Commerce and Subsistence: A Study of Turgot's Letters to Terray (1769-1770)

Iseppi Charlotte, Université Lyon 2

This article presents the way in which Turgot links the free trade in wheat to the question of subsistence in two series of letters from 1770 sent to the Controller General, Abbé Terray. Respectively named "Lettres sur la disette du Limousin" and "Lettres au contrôleur général sur le commerce du grain", these two series are usually studied independently. As a result, by being compared, they are for some commentators an example of Turgot's incoherence (Kiener and Peyronnet 1979; Kaplan 2017). On the contrary, the fact that Dupont only published the Lettres sur le commerce du grain contributed to making Turgot the liberal author as the history of economic thought knows him, forgetting the social question, which is nevertheless important in his writings (Du Pont 1808). However, by studying the two series of letters as a continuum, Turgot's position can be nuanced. In this sense, this work is in line with the work of (Rothschild 1992; Clément 2005).

Area: Eshet Conference

Keywords: Turgot

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