Mercantilism

Mercantilism

Update: 2023-04-137
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Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss how, between the 16th and 18th centuries, Europe was dominated by an economic way of thinking called mercantilism. The key idea was that exports should be as high as possible and imports minimised.

For more than 300 years, almost every ruler and political thinker was a mercantilist. Eventually, economists including Adam Smith, in his ground-breaking work of 1776 The Wealth of Nations, declared that mercantilism was a flawed concept and it became discredited. However, a mercantilist economic approach can still be found in modern times and today’s politicians sometimes still use rhetoric related to mercantilism.

With

D’Maris Coffman
Professor in Economics and Finance of the Built Environment at University College London

Craig Muldrew
Professor of Social and Economic History at the University of Cambridge and a Member of Queens’ College

and

Helen Paul, Lecturer in Economics and Economic History at the University of Southampton.

Producer Luke Mulhall
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Mercantilism

Mercantilism

BBC Radio 4