The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Steuart, Sir James (1713–1780)

  • Walter Eltis
Reference work entry


An 18th-century Scottish political economist, Steuart’s interest in economic management, contrasting with the economic liberalism of Adam Smith, reflected his long exile on the European continent and his awareness of backward conditions generally. Believing that markets do not always clear, Steuart advocated import protection, subsidies for exports and agriculture, and public works to combat unemployment. He thought the resultant high taxation would encourage people to work hard to obtain the necessities of life. Whereas Smith ignored him in Wealth of Nations, Marx gave him his due in Capital, and in the 20th century his monetary theory was recognized by some as anticipating that of Keynes.


Agricultural subsidies Balance of payments Deduction Export subsidies Hamilton, A. Hume, D. Induction Industrial policy Infant trade Law, J. Malthus’s theory of population Marx, K.H. Mercier de la Rivière, P.-P. Money supply Primitive accumulation Protection Public debt Public works Scottish historical school Smith, A. Specie flows Stages theory of history Steuart, Sir J. Taxation 

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Walter Eltis
    • 1
  1. 1.