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Mercantilism is a bankrupt theory that has no place in the modern world.  Is this an...

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silvertree33 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 31, 2012 at 7:11 PM via web

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Mercantilism is a bankrupt theory that has no place in the modern world.  Is this an accurate statement?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 31, 2012 at 7:26 PM (Answer #1)

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This is an accurate statement in that economists today do not believe in mercantilism at all.  Mainstream economists are unanimous on the idea that trade helps all countries.  Countries produce things in which they have a comparative advantage and trade for things in which they do not.  This allows world production to be higher than it otherwise would be.

However, there are countries that follow at least some aspects of mercantilism.  Any protectionist policies can be seen as mercantilism.  Therefore, when countries like China erect trade barriers and emphasize exports they are acting in ways that are influenced by mercantilism.  Therefore, it may not be a completely “bankrupt” idea.

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