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

By Gianni Vaggi

This ebook provides a quick historical past of monetary suggestion from the seventeenth century to the current day. each one bankruptcy examines the most important contributions of an immense economist or team of economists and contains feedback for extra analyzing. Economists lined comprise Keynes, Marshall, Petty and Jevons, and no more prevalent theorists comparable to Galiani and Turgot.

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Extra info for A Concise History of Economic Thought: From Mercantilism to Monetarism

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P. 31) as the main cause of the price, even if this is particularly the case for commodities which men cannot do without. It must be noticed that Locke also ascribed an important role to human labour necessary in the production of different commodities; but this was not a labour theory of value. For Locke, it provided the foundations of property rights, which derive from the efforts and energy which have been employed by each individual in acquiring this property. Locke’s analysis of value was likewise applied to the value of money, that is to say, to the interest rate: the natural value of money, as it is apt to yield such a yearly income by interest, depends on the whole quantity of the then passing money of the kingdom, in proportion to the whole trade of the kingdom.

The benefits accruing to the money lenders and, above all, to the workers are more dubious. The latter are badly paid, often at no more than subsistence wages, but this was seen as favourable to the expansion of British manufactures. Labourers should therefore be satisfied with having better employment opportunities. In its mature phase, mercantilism produced a set of notions which, by bringing together theoretical and practical aspects, gave an answer to the problem of increasing national wealth.

Notice that the merchants do not play a particularly important role in Petty’s scheme even though it was written at the zenith of mercantilism. Secondly, Petty does not make any clearcut distinction between productive and unproductive activities, however, he suggests there is a hierarchy between the different tasks performed by each group of citizens. This hierarchy does not depend on their political functions, but mainly on the type of goods and services they produce. The first 100 men produce the necessaries for the entire society; the remaining 900 would not be able to survive without the work of the people employed in agriculture.

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