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Classical School of Economics

Many people refer to the first modern school of economic thought as Classical Economics. Although Jean-Baptiste Say, David Ricardo, Thomas Malthus and John Stuart Mill made major contributions to classical economic thought, most scholars consider the publication of Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations in 1776 as the beginning of classical economics—a term said to have been coined by Karl Marx.

Value theory represents the primary distinction between the Classical and Austrian Schools of Economics. Classical economists tend to see value as derived at least in part from the intrinsic characteristics of goods. Austrians see individual preferences as the final determinant of value.

Schools of Thought