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Chanakya: the pioneer economist of the world

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Reviews the content of the scholar Chanakya's treatise, Arthasastra (economics). Written in the period 321-296bc, it sets forth a framework for the economic management of India. Examines the Arthasastra's teachings in the areas of agriculture, forestry, wildlife, mining and industries, and transport and trade. Reports that the economy was based on a system of coinage that had made barter of secondary importance and lists the prescribed sources of revenues such as taxes and fines and at the main heads of expenditure such as the maintenance of an army, a bureaucracy, social security measures and the upkeep of the King, his family and his court. Concludes that Chanakya's Arthasastra is a monumental treatise of the ancient world that possesses great importance in the history of economics.
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Keywords: Economic Systems; Economic Theory; Economists

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 1998

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