Montchrestien 1615: the beginnings of political economy?
This article seeks to demonstrate that Montchrestien participates in the emergence of one modern way of thinking about the economy as an «instituted process». The damage caused by international competition led Montchrestien to promote protectionism and a policy aimed at educating the labour force. But, the mercantilism attributed to Montchrestien in no way implies that the economy is a transposition of a war-like model. In the embedded markets of a well-managed State, trade is not a zero-sum game. More generally, the paper argues that Montchrestien distinguishes three modes of transaction and gives a place to money that is peculiar in mercantilist thought.
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