Title: Dupont de Nemours and the origin of the maxim 'laissez faire, laissez passer'

Authors: Robert E. Prasch; Thierry Warin

Addresses: Deceased; formerly of: Department of Economics, Middlebury College, USA; CIRANO, 1130 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Suite 1400, Montréal, Québec, H3A 2M8, Canada ' Department of International Business, HEC Montreal, Canada

Abstract: Dupont de Nemours begins his 'Lettre à la Chambre de Commerce de Normandie' (1788) with an excerpt from the catholic bible. This quote refers to the Lazarus's miraculous re-birth: "Otez-lui fes liens, & laiffez-le aller."1 The quote is Jesus' statement upon bringing Lazarus back to life. This reference begins our inquiry into the origin of the laissez-faire maxim. In this paper, we highlight some mistranslations, some historical shortcomings and present our perspective on the origin of the maxim.

Keywords: laissez-faire; capitalism; economic thought; political economy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEBR.2019.099974

International Journal of Economics and Business Research, 2019 Vol.17 No.4, pp.448 - 458

Received: 04 Sep 2017
Accepted: 20 Mar 2018

Published online: 27 Mar 2019 *

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