Sociology Index


Government abstention from interference in the actions of individuals, especially, in commerce. The doctrine of laissez-faire advocates leaving things to take their own course without interfering in the workings of the free market. Laissez-faire was a synonym for strict free market economics during the early and mid-19th century. A laissez-faire state has never existed, though the extent of government regulation may vary.

The Laissez-faire doctrine lost popularity in the middle of the twentieth century, with the rise of the welfare state and extensive public ownership of parts of the economy, but has regained favor in recent times. Classical Liberalism is also called laissez-faire liberalism. Market Economy may include hypothetical laissez-faire, free market, regulated markets and interventionist variants.

Laisser-faire, laissez faire, laissez aller and laissez passer, means let do, let go or let pass. laissez faire is an injunction against government interference. Laissez-faire slogan was popularized by Vincent de Gournay, a French intendant of commerce in the 1750s. Laissez-faire assumes that the competitive system of free markets is the best means of allocation of scarce resources between alternative uses. Laissez faire means, 'allow to do'.

Laissez-faire is a term from French and literally means let do and leave it alone. Vincent de Gournay the maxim: "Laissez-faire et laissez passer" ('Let do and let pass'). Laissez-faire is a term from French and literally means "let do" or "leave it alone." A laissez-faire state has never existed, though the extent of government regulation may vary. Laissez-faire is an economic doctrine that government should not interfere in the economic or social regulation of society unless absolutely necessary.

Two rhetorical strategies of laissez-faire
Two ontologically distinct rhetorical strategies of laissez-faire may be distinguished by the way they articulate the individual interest with the general interest. While the reductionist approach naturally issues in a laissez-faire policy prescription, the holistic account is more problematic. - Andy Denis.

Examines the century old debate about free trade and laissez-faire that the logical conclusion for the modem theory of trade and welfare, once political economy costs are taken into account is that, as the classical liberals maintained, the case for free trade and laissez-faire hang together.


Devolution, multicultural citizenship and race equality: From laissez-faire to nationally responsible policies - Charlotte Williams, Keele University, Philomena De Lima, University of the Highlands and Islands. This paper argues that devolution represents a significant shift from a laissez-faire politics of race to an agenda of nationally responsible policies.

Books on Laissez-Faire

The Capitalist Manifesto: The Historic, Economic and Philosophic Case for Laissez-Faire by Andrew Bernstein.

The End of Laissez-Faire: The Economic Consequences of the Peace by John Maynard Keynes.


The Progressive Assault on Laissez-Faire: Robert Hale and the First Law and Economics Movement by Barbara H. Fried.


The Little Code of Laissez-faire: 1444 Epigrams on Material Freedom by F L Light. Many of these couplets may become as famously cited as lines from Shakespeare.


The Little Code of Laissez-faire: 1507 Epigrams on Material Freedom by F L Light. The reader is provided with 1507 quotable reasons for economic freedom.



Airline Deregulation and Laissez-Faire Mythology by Stephen Paul Dempsey and Andrew R. Goetz.


The End of Laissez-Faire: National Purpose and the Global Economy After the Cold War by Robert Kuttner


Selected Essays by Frank H. Knight, Volume 2: Laissez-Faire: Pro and Con by Frank H. Knight and Ross B. Emmett.


Foundations of 'Laissez-Faire': The Economics of Pierre de Boisguilbert (Routledge Studies in the History of Economics, 31) by Gilb Faccarello.


The Decline of Laissez Faire, 1897-1917: The Economic History of the United States (Special Data Issue,) by Harold Underwood Faulkner.


Reassessing comparative advantage: the impact of capital flows on the argument for laissez-faire.: An article from: Journal of Economic Issues by Robert E. Prasch - HTML.