Ludwig von Mises Institute

Mercantilism

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Mercantilism is an economic theory, thought to be a form of economic nationalism,[1] that holds that the prosperity of a nation is dependent upon its supply of capital, and that the global volume of international trade is "unchangeable". Economic assets (or capital) are represented by bullion (gold, silver, and trade value) held by the state, which is best increased through a positive and healthy balance of trade with other nations (exports minus imports).

The theory assumes that wealth and monetary assets are identical. Mercantilism suggests that the ruling government should advance these goals by playing a protectionist role in the economy by encouraging exports and discouraging imports, notably through the use of subsidies and tariffs respectively. The theory dominated Western European economic policies from the 16th to the late-18th century.[1]

Notes[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Mercantilism". The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/Mercantilism.html. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 

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