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And almost all mercantilists considered ways of bringing more people into the labour force.Mr Grampp even suggests that Keynesian economics "has an affinity to mercantilist doctrine”, given their shared concern with full employment.
And a paper by William Grampp, published in 1952, offers a subtler account of mercantilism.
Mr Grampp concedes that mercantilists were keen on foreign trade.
One often reads in mercantilist tomes that foreign trade would be more beneficial than would domestic trade.
And some of the early mercantilists, like John Hales, were enchanted by the idea of an overflowing treasure chest.
At the heart of mercantilism is the view that maximising net exports is the best route to national prosperity.
Boiled to its essence mercantilism is “bullionism”: the idea that the only true measure of a country’s wealth and success was the amount of gold that it had.
But there is an important distinction between mercantilist practice and mercantilist thought.
The opinions of thinkers were often mangled when they were translated into policies.
But according to research by Lars Magnusson of Uppsala University, Smith’s contribution did not represent such a sharp break.
The father of economics was certainly concerned with the effects of some mercantilist policies.