The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd


  • Laura LaHaye
Reference work entry


Mercantilism is economic nationalism that seeks to limit the competition faced by domestic producers. It refers to the economic thought and policies that were characteristic of the dominant Western European trading nations during the transition from feudalism to modern capitalism from the 16th to the late 18th century. It is often depicted as the school of thought that confused money with wealth, promoting a favourable balance of trade as the best method to increase the wealth of a nation that did not possess gold or silver mines.


Colbert, Jean-Baptiste East India Company German Historical School Heckscher, E. F. Mercantilism Money Monopoly Mun, T. Navigation acts Protection Specie Tariffs 

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Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura LaHaye
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