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Who first promoted the the idea that competition leads to a better economy?

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  • $\begingroup$ Can you please define "economist"? Do we count the pilosophers of old (like Adam Smith) as economists? $\endgroup$
    – Giskard
    Commented Jul 25, 2022 at 5:35
  • $\begingroup$ @Giskard Yes, philosophers included $\endgroup$
    – Geremia
    Commented Jul 26, 2022 at 4:36
  • $\begingroup$ I will edit the question so instead of "Which economist" it will read "Who". $\endgroup$
    – Giskard
    Commented Jul 26, 2022 at 7:49
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting question. I have no idea but did some online research. It seems the benefits of competition were discussed at least as early as Hesiod who highlighted the benefits of competition (called "good conflict" by him) for economic growth and relieving the basic problem of scarcity. $\endgroup$
    – AKdemy
    Commented Aug 4, 2022 at 11:04

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the Spanish scholastics were the first ones to introduce the dynamic concept of competition (in Latin concurrentium), which is best understood as a process of rivalry among entrepreneurs. For instance, Jeronimo Castillo de Bovadilla (1547 ?) wrote that "prices will go down as a result of the abundance, rivalry (emulacion), and competition (concurrencia) among the sellers."

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  • $\begingroup$ Not sure why you think this is the first instance. In their comment AKdemy cites a source that is two millenia older. $\endgroup$
    – Giskard
    Commented Nov 27, 2023 at 12:10
  • $\begingroup$ @Giskard Rothbard (Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought vol. 1, §1.3) didn't consider Hesiod among the "‘economists’ in the modern sense". $\endgroup$
    – Geremia
    Commented Nov 28, 2023 at 2:56
  • $\begingroup$ The requirement that the thinker should be an economist is not in your question, you specifically write "philosophers included" $\endgroup$
    – Giskard
    Commented Nov 28, 2023 at 8:15

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