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Working Papers

 
 Title

THE PRE-KAUTILYAN PERIOD: CRUCIBLE OF PROTO ECONOMIC IDEAS AND PRACTICES

 Authors

Deodhar, Satish Y.

 Publication Date

22-Oct-2020

 Year

2020

  Publication Code

WP 2020-10-03

 Abstract

A number of studies have been conducted in the recent past throwing light on Kautilya’s contribution to economic policy. In his treatise Arthashastra, Kautilya informs that his contribution was based on received knowledge and gives credit to his predecessors. Unfortunately, the specialized works of the predecessors have been lost with the passage of time. I have attempted to scout and collate the economic notions that have appeared interspersed in the available Sanskrit treatises written prior to Arthashastra. Kautilya’s Arthashastra must have evolved from the crucible of such literature. In this context I discuss the four-fold classifications of purusharthas, ashramas, and varnas referenced in ancient texts and their attendant economic implications in the society then. I also cover the economic notions at the macro and institutional level which include policies of a welfare state, practical ideas about public goods, market facilitation, property rights, labour relations and unions, coinage, taxation, and budget deficit.

 

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