Jean Baptiste Say, a French political economist, born in Lyons, Jan. 5, 1767, died in Paris, Nov. 16, 1832. After being engaged in commercial pursuits, he became connected with the Courrier de Provence, a newspaper edited by Mirabeau in Paris, and afterward was the secretary of Clavière, the Girondist minister of finance. In 1794, in conjunction with Cham-fort, Andrieux, and Ginguén, he founded La decade philosophique, littéraire et politique; and after the 18th Brumaire he was appointed a member of the tribunate. Forced by Bonaparte to withdraw from political life, he established a cotton-spinning mill, but was obliged to abandon it in 1812. After the fall of Napoleon he published an improved edition of his Traité de l'économie politique (1st ed., 2 vols. 8vo, 1803), to which he added an Épitome des principes fondamentaux de l'économie politique. In 1815 he prepared a Catéchisme d'économie politique. In 1821 he was appointed professor of industrial economy in the conservatoire des arts et métiers, and in 1830 of political economy in the collége de France. His lectures were published under the title of Cours complet d'économie politique et pratique (6 vols. 8vo, 1828-'30; new ed., with notes by his son, 2 vols. 8vo, 1852). He also wrote Lettres à M. Malthus sur différents sujets d'économie politique (1820), reprinted under the title of Mélanges et correspondances d'économie politique (1833), and various essays which have been collected in his (Euvres diverses.
His Traité and Catéchisme have each been twice translated into English. - His son Horace Émile (1794-1860) and his grandson LÉon (born 1826) also hold a prominent place among political economists. The latter is now (1875) minister of finance.