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Additional resources for A Concise History of Economic Thought: From Mercantilism to Monetarism
It may be more convenient to have low production costs and have moderate selling prices in order to expand the sales of British manufactures on foreign markets all the better. Thanks to low unit costs of production, it becomes possible to increase the market share of Britain and the overall value of her exports. The Mercantilists assumed a high elasticity of world demand with respect to the prices of British manufactures. However, cost of production also includes the wages of the labourers in the cottage industry and in the small scale factories of the time.
In any short outline of the history of economic thought, Sir William Petty deserves a special place, because his contribution developed crucial notions and concepts which a century later helped to create classical political economy as a separate science. The notion of surplus and the idea of division of labour are in Petty’s work. In many respects, these concepts provide a theory of wealth quite different from that of the mercantilists. Nevertheless, Petty never speciﬁcally rejected mercantilist policies.
But this ratio is the ‘marketable value’ and can change quite often without any change in the intrinsic value (ibid, p. 43). The marketable value, or the price of a good on the market, has a loose relationship with its value in use, or with its utility. Value in use does not regulate the price, the value in exchange depends on circumstances which are different from, and only partly related to the particular and specific features of a good, which make it appropriate for satisfying precise human wants and needs.