Pierre Boisguillebert

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Boisguillebert, Pierre


Born Feb. 17, 1646; died Oct. 10, 1714. French economist; founder of the classical school of bourgeois political economy in France; one of the founders of the theory of labor value.

Boisguillebert distinguished between the market price and the “true value, ” considering the measure of the latter the work time needed to produce a commodity. In characterizing Boisguillebert’s view on value, K. Marx wrote: “Boisguillebert … reduces, if not deliberately then in effect, the exchange value of a commodity to the working time, determining the true value’(la juste valeur)by the true proportion into which the working time of individuals is divided between different branches of production” (K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 13, p. 40). Boisguillebert considered money the fundamental evil and the cause of national calamities, and he believed that to eradicate the power of money its role must be reduced to that of a simple means of circulation. Boisguillebert was a forerunner of the physiocrats. K. Marx highly valued Boisguillebert’s works, which were directed against feudal oppression and against mercantilism.


Le détail de la France. Paris, 1697.
Dissertation sur la nature de la richesse.… Paris, 1707.


Marx, K. “K kritike politicheskoi ekonomii.” K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 13.
Lenin, V. I. “K kharakteristike ekonomicheskogo romantizma.” Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 2.
Rozenberg, D. I. Istoriia politicheskoi ekonomii, vol. 1. Moscow, 1940.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.