An economic theory of economic analysis: the case of the School of Salamanca

  • Clara JaceEmail author


The School of Salamanca often is identified as the first economic tradition in the history of the “dismal science”. Its members anticipated principles later developed by the likes of Adam Smith and Carl Menger. This paper provides an economic theory of the production of economic analysis by the Doctors of Salamanca, beginning from the observation that producers of economic analysis respond to incentives the same way producers of meat, beer, or bread do. Historically, the demand for economic analysis arises from two sources: governments and interest groups. I argue that the changes in international trade associated with the emergence of new transatlantic markets in the sixteenth century led to an increase in the demand for economic analysis by Spanish merchants and that the contribution of the School of Salamanca was grounded in the predictable supply response to those fresh incentives.


School of Salamanca Supply and demand of economics History of economic thought 



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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.George Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA

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