Political economy refers to the study of the conditions under which production and consumption function and can be organized for the benefit of the community. The first appearance of the term dates from 1615 when Antoyne de Montchrétien in his Traité de l’économie politique [Treatise on political economy] criticized ancient political works for not having taken into consideration economic factors. He argued that what matters most for a community's fate is neither its religious devotion guided by its clergymen nor the courage and military skills of its noblemen but the occupation of the common men. What men produce and consume, how they organize their work, and the creativity of artisans and merchants are what affects society most. In its contemporary application, political economy refers to ...

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