Francois Quesnay - Economist
Francois Quesnay was a surgeon.
Quesnay's interest in economics arose in 1756, where, hoping to draw on his country background, he was asked to contribute several articles on farming to the Encylopèdie of Diderot and d'Alembert. Quesnay delved into the works of the Maréchal de Vauban, Pierre de Boisguilbert and Richard Cantillon and, mixing all these ingredients together, Quesnay gradually came up with his famous economic theory.
In 1758, Quesnay wrote his Tableau Économique -- renowned for its famous depiction of income flows between economic sectors-- to explain his doctrine. It became the founding document of the Physiocratic sect -- and the ancestor of the multisectoral input-output systems of Marx , Sraffa and Leontief and modern general equilibrium theory.
Quesnay opposed the mercantilist doctrines of Colbert, which still held in the French court, believing that they concentrated too much on propping up industry and commerce rather than agriculture. Influenced by Vincent de Gournay, an advocate of laissez-faire, Quesnay wished to see many of the Medieval rules governing agricultural production lifted, permitting the economy to find its "natural state". The natural state of the economy was conceived as the balanced circular flow of income between economic sectors and thus social classes which maximized the net product.