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Quesnay, François(1694–1774) a French economist whose writings helped to lay the basis for the physiocratic school of thought (see PHYSIOCRACY). Quesnay suggested that agriculture was the source of wealth, with the productive class (tenant farmers) creating an economic surplus over and above what they need for their own subsistence. This ‘net product’ is then available to meet the needs of landowners and the artisans and merchants. Quesnay wrote Tableau Économique (1758), a work designed to show how the net product is produced and circulates among farmers, landlords and merchants, which was, in effect, an INPUT-OUTPUT table.
Collins Dictionary of Economics, 4th ed. © C. Pass, B. Lowes, L. Davies 2005