The analysis of crises in early French dictionaries and encyclopedias, Ch. 6 of Crises and cycles in economic dictionaries and encyclopedias, edited by Daniele Besomi, London: Routledge.

This chapter examines the features of the six earliest articles on commercial crises published in economic dictionaries and in encyclopedias, 1835–42. It is noted that they offered the very first definitions of ‘crises’ found in the literature, although the conception was still rather trivial, as most of them saw crises as a disruption of the course of business. They admitted, however, endogenous as well as exogenous causes, but only some of them recognized some sistematicity in their occurrence, and only one of these writers (Lemonnier) understood that they are a necessary consequence of technological advances and are therefore the price to pay for economic progress.

Presentation of the project