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The parable of the broken window was introduced by French economist Frédéric Bastiat in his 1850 essay "That Which We See and That Which We Do Not See" ("Ce qu'on voit et ce qu'on ne voit pas") to illustrate why destruction, and the money spent to recover from destruction, is not actually a net benefit to society.
The parable seeks to show how opportunity costs, as well as the law of unintended consequences, affect economic activity in ways that are unseen or ignored. The belief that destruction is good for the economy is consequently known as the broken window fallacy or glazier's fallacy.