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Controversy between Bodin and Malestroit in France

In 1566, Malestroit, an advisor to the king and president of the French public accounts commission, conducted an inquiry into widespread price inflation and the diminishing value of money. He defended the concept that inflation was a mere illusion: the precious-​​metal content of coins and so their value had diminished, but food prices in terms of precious metals had not increased.

In 1568, Jean Bodin responded that price inflation had mainly been driven by the massive inflows of precious metals to Europe since the discovery of gold and silver mines in South America. He was therefore one of the first to put forward what became subsequently known by economists as quantitative monetary theory.

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