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 Definition A term broadly describing Western European economic theory from the Early Modern period to the 1750s. [d] [e]
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This is far from complete, and I'll be working on it in the next few weeks, but I thought I should present my opinion of how this article should be structured before posting any more of it. I am of the opinion that Mercantilism should be dealt with first by region of origin, to explain the enormous differences between, say, anti-monopoly theories in Mesta-crushed Spain and pro-monopoly theories in Von Hornick's writings (focusing on the infant industry side of manufacturing in Austria). I believe it is quite possible to view Mercantilism as somewhat unified, or at least coherent, if it is broken down this way - pre-Liberalism in England, Cameralism in Germany, Colbertism in France, etc. This area ought to focus on the actual writings of the Mercantilists, rather than prevailing interpretations thereof. Room for opinions on Mercantilism can be made at the end, with some attempt at representation from each of the opinions: Ekelund's rent-seeking bureaucrats, Reinert's development theory, Hecksher and Viner's theory of, ah, misguidance, and perhaps Keynes' writings on the subject, as well. William Brand 13:26, 27 March 2007 (CDT)

I have added the paragraph on Mercantilist theory so that readers should get an early idea of what it is that the article discusses. (Also, I am somewhat concerned by the invitation to take the theory seriously that is implied by the statement that the term is commonly used without bias by historians. The link with Viner's critique is my very restrained way of putting that in perspective, and I am tempted to say more. Perhaps something by way of a professional assessment could be added as a concluding paragraph? )


The sentence on Viner says only that this economist studied mercantilism. What did he find? It seems pointless to say someone studied a theory without saying whether he was fir or agin it. Russell D. Jones 12:33, 21 August 2009 (UTC)


The citations are a mess. I'm adding notes here so that we don't forget what research needs to be done. I've made my best guess, but it's only a guess. Please cross out when each has been verified. These sources should also be included on the bibliography page. Thanks. Russell D. Jones 12:54, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

  • Is it "Erik S. Reinert and Sophus A. Reinert" or "Erik S. Reinert and A. Sophus"?
  • Is it "K. S. Jomo and Erik S. Reinert" or "Jomo K. S. Reinert and Erik S. Reinert"?

Mercantilism in Spain

I have issue with the explanation here. I've understood the problem of the lackadaisical Spanish economy as a by-product of the Counter-Reformation. Spain was importing a ton (well, many tons) of bullion from the Americas but did not keep it. It used this bullion to finance the wars of the reformation, buying mercenaries (mainly from central Europe, paid in Austrian "Tolers" → US "Dollars") and otherwise generally spending its money. Thus, the bullion was flying out of the country as fast as it was coming in and these events led to a general rise in prices throughout Europe. This was known as the Price Revolution (and led to the enclosure movement in the UK). How is this interpretation incorrect? Russell D. Jones 12:54, 21 August 2009 (UTC)