Read e-book online A Concise History of Economic Thought: From Mercantilism to PDF

By Gianni Vaggi

ISBN-10: 0333999363

ISBN-13: 9780333999363

ISBN-10: 1403987394

ISBN-13: 9781403987396

This quantity provides a quick historical past of monetary thought from the 17th century to the current day. each one bankruptcy examines the main contributions of an incredible economist, or staff of economists, and concludes with short feedback for additional studying. The economists lined comprise Keynes, Marshall, Petty and Jevons, in addition to much less known theorists comparable to Galiani and Turgot.

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However, Petty only opened the way and did not take all the theoretical steps needed to fully overcome mercantilism. A trade surplus was not regarded as and end in itself but as a way to increase economic activity and employment. However, Petty did not explicitly deny the mercantilist views concerning the causes of the increase of wealth, and in fact sometimes he seemed to share the bullionists’ view on the superiority of precious metals. Gold, silver and jewels are the only forms of wealth not subject to deterioration, in contrast to other commodities, hence they are wealth at any time and in any place (see Petty, 1662, pp.

But the value of commodities is much more stable, and it is not linked to what happens on the market at a particular time or place. It depends on permanent causes, or long run forces, which Petty identified mainly within the conditions of production of a commodity. Petty, Division of Labour and Surplus 33 Petty related value to the production process and to the costs and difficulties incurred in the production of a commodity, but he offered alternative measures of these costs. Sometimes he seemed to support the labour theory of value.

Instead of simply buying and selling goods, they began to provide workers with raw materials to be transformed into manufactured products, which were then sold. In particular it was possible to take advantage of the long periods of inactivity in agriculture during the winter; textile industry in England began with the so-called cottage industry under the supervision of the merchant–capitalist, who supplied the peasants with the raw materials and often advanced them money. The extension of manufacturing activities and the need to protect the newly established industry from foreign competitors led to the end of the age of bullion and to a new phase in mercantilist thinking.

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A Concise History of Economic Thought: From Mercantilism to Monetarism by Gianni Vaggi

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