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The Book of the Young Master of Accountancy: An Ancient Chinese Economics Text

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image of Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient

In ancient China, economic theory developed from the Warring States period onwards. Many philosophers included economic ideas in their works. A number of important theories were first articulated in an extremely obscure text, the Jinizi, a book was associated with the preunification state of Yue. The Jinizi is the earliest known text to include the concept of economic cycles, and it stresses the role of investment and savings in economic development, and price stabilisation. These ideas subsequently formed the cornerstone of ancient Chinese economic theory. This paper includes the first translation of the Jinizi into English. En Chine ancienne, la théorie économique se développa à partir de la période des Royaumes Combattants. Plusieurs philosophes inclurent des concepts économiques dans leurs travaux. Un nombre de théories importantes furent articulées dans un texte extrêmement obscure, le Jinizi, un livre associé avec l'état de Yue avant l'unification de la Chine. Le Jinizi est le premier texte à avoir inclu le concept des cycles économiques, et il appuie le rôle de l'investissement et de l'épargne dans le développement économique, et de la stabilisation des prix. Ces idées formèrent par la suite le point clé de la théorie économique en Chine ancienne. Cet article comprend la première traduction du Jinizi en Anglais.

Affiliations: 1: Lector in Classical Chinese, School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London, London


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