Mercantilism is an economic theory, thought to be a form of economic nationalism, 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.
- "Mercantilism". The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/Mercantilism.html. Retrieved 2010-03-14.
- Mercantilism at Wikipedia
- Mercantilism by Laura LaHaye at The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics
- Mercantilism: A Lesson for Our Times?, Mercantilism in Spain, Mercantilism as the Economic Aspect of Absolutism by Murray N. Rothbard, from An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought, vol. 1, Economic Thought Before Adam Smith.
- "Neo-Mercantilism" by Murray N. Rothbard, February 1999
- "Economic Nationalism: From Mercantilism to World War II" by Michael A. Heilperin, July 2010
- Marxism, Capitalism and Mercantilism (pdf) by David Osterfeld, 1991
- Ekelund, Robert B.; Tollison, Robert D. (1981). Mercantilism as a Rent-Seeking Society: Economic Regulation in Historical Perspective. College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press. ISBN 0890961204.
- Ekelund, Robert B.; Hébert, Robert F. (1975). A History of Economic Theory and Method. New York: McGraw–Hill. ISBN 0070191433.
- "Mercantilism vs. Free Trade: The Early Years" by Chi-Yuen Wu, September 2013