Thomas Aquinas: A Pioneer in the Field of Law & Economics
Robert W. McGee
Fayetteville State University - Department of Accounting
Western State University Law Review, Vol. 18, No. 1, pp. 471-483, 1990
St. Thomas Aquinas addressed a number of economic questions, especially in Summa Theologica, II, II. Among the topics covered were the division of labor, property rights, the just price, usury, the labor theory of value, trade and insider trading.
Most of his economic ideas have been either improved upon or discarded by modern economic thinkers. Very little of what he says on economics has remained unchanged over the course of time. Unfortunately, some of his ideas that have been (rightly) discarded by most economists are still being used as the basis of policymaking by politicians and government officials. And some of his ideas that were basically correct (such as his view of insider trading) have been discarded by them. This article summarizes and discusses Thomas' views on economics and political economy.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 23
Keywords: Aquinas, insider trading, division of labor, Adam Smith, just price, Summa Theologica, usury, labor theory of value
JEL Classification: B11, B31, K10
Date posted: May 6, 2005