Acton Institute Powerblog

The Acton Institute shares the basics of economics with the French-speaking world

(Photo credit: Public domain.)

Such simple concepts of economics as scarcity, the importance of contract enforcement and private property rights, and the retreat of global poverty seem altogether foreign to many influential people — including many who make economic policy. Nonetheless, these are bedrock principles shared by a broad variety of economists. And they are now more accessible to the 275 million people worldwide who speak French as a primary language.

The Acton Institute’s Religion & Liberty Transatlantic website has posted a French translation by Etienne Chaumeton of Noah Gould’s article, “Do economists agree?” His article summarized Jay Richards’ article, “What Economists Know, Believe, and Debate,” which was published in the Acton Institute’s Journal of Markets and MoralityThe article concludes with a hopeful note about the important service economics renders to society:

Si bon nombre de ces faits semblent évidents ou même intuitifs, ils sont extrêmement utiles et nécessaires à notre compréhension du monde. Le professeur Richards souligne que la majorité des Américains ne comprennent même pas les idées économiques les plus simples, telles que la rareté. En effet, la contribution la plus fondamentale de l’économie est la capacité à systématiser les fondamentaux du comportement humain et à révéler un phénomène invisible sous le visible. Le consensus des économistes doit être un encouragement, montrant que la discipline n’est pas simplement un faire-valoir politique. Au contraire, l’économie peut révéler des vérités sur le monde et nous aider à résoudre de vrais problèmes.

This translation represents the most recent addition to Acton’s French-language translation project. You can read the full translation here. You can also read Richards’ most recent work for Acton, based on the theme of his new book on COVID-19, The Price of Panic, in the Fall 2020 issue of Religion & Liberty.

Rev. Ben Johnson

Rev. Ben Johnson is Executive Editor of the Acton Institute's flagship journal Religion & Liberty and edits its transatlantic website.