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A branch of economics especially associated with the Chicago School of economics which emphasises the role of markets and minimises the role of the state.

It is a descendant of Physiocratic laissez-faire and natural law economics. The Physiocrats resisted an imposed political order, as under a social contract, preferring nature to take its course. Natural law writers emphasised that through conscience rather than outside controls public conduct would be proper. Libertarian economics continues themes from classical economics and often uses neoclassical methods.