By Gianni Vaggi

ISBN-10: 0230505805

ISBN-13: 9780230505803

ISBN-10: 0333999363

ISBN-13: 9780333999363

ISBN-10: 1403918597

ISBN-13: 9781403918598

ISBN-10: 1403987394

ISBN-13: 9781403987396

Gianni Vaggi and Peter Groenewegen current a short heritage of monetary idea in elements dealing respectively with classical economics and smooth advancements. all of the 18 chapters seems on the contributions of an incredible economist, from Thomas Mun within the early seventeenth century via to Keynes and Harrod and the principles of recent macroeconomics within the twentieth century. feedback are given for additional studying on each one economist featured.

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However, cost of production also includes the wages of the labourers in the cottage industry and in the small scale factories of the time. Money wages must be kept low in order to favour the competitiveness of British products (Mun, 1623, pp. 8, 12). For the Mercantilist, money wages depended on the price of corn and that of other wage goods, but contrary to Ricardo (see below, Chapter 14) they did not favour a low prices of necessaries. On the contrary, corn must not be too cheap in relation to money wages, because if the workers can easily buy their wage goods then they become lazy and idle.

Sewall, ‘The theory of value before Adam Smith’ (American Economic Association Publications, vol. 3, third series, 1901) presents the case for separating authors and supporters of the cost of production view as against the one based on demand and supply. A useful, concise perspective on the evolution of the notion of wealth from mercantilism to Smith is G. Vaggi. ‘The theory of wealth, the ancien régime and the physiocratic experiment’, International Journal of New Ideas (no. 2, 1992). This page intentionally left blank Section I Seventeenth-century Pioneers This page intentionally left blank 2 Thomas Mun, 1571–1641: from Bullion to Foreign Trade Thomas Mun’s grandfather was a provost in the Royal Mint, his father was a Mercer.

Profit is basically defined as a difference between two market prices. Sometimes unit production costs displace purchase prices, but the first are just a representation of the prices of raw materials and of money wages. The notion of profit upon alienation clearly signifies the idea that wealth is generated in the process of exchange, where there is always someone who loses and always someone else who gains. But if, in this manner, international trade is only a zero-sum game, the mercantilists maintained that once national wealth had been increased thanks to their activities and to appropriate and supportive government policies, then all sections of the population would benefit.

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A concise history of economic thought by Gianni Vaggi


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