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Statistics and politics in the 18th century

Statistik und Politik im 18. Jahrhundert
[journal article]

Behrisch, Lars


This full text is available after a period of embargo until the 23 May 2017

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Abstract The article first gives an overview over the early history of statistics in politics, and then zooms in on the first attempts at establishing a nationwide agrarian statistics in pre-revolutionary France. Attention is given to the obstacles as well as to the long-term successes in standardizing and quantifying agrarian productivity. The corresponding learning experience, both in terms of concepts and practice, was a condition for the institutionalization of statistics in the early nineteenth century. It had its roots in the secular-utilitarian agenda of "enlightened absolutism" and its focus on a systematic and state-sponsored relaunch of the national economy. (author's abstract)
Keywords statistics; historical development; France; eighteenth century; physiocratism; political economy; quantification; agricultural production
Classification Research Design; Basic Research, General Concepts and History of Economics
Free Keywords Kameralistik; politische Arithmetik; Konventionen der Äquivalenz
Document language English
Publication Year 2016
Page/Pages p. 238-257
Journal Historical Social Research, 41 (2016) 2
Issue topic Conventions and quantification - transdisciplinary perspectives on statistics and classifications
ISSN 0172-6404
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works