Malynes, Gerald (1586-1641)

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

An English merchant and government officia! and a leading exponent of mercantilism. His publications include A Treatise of the Canker of England’s Commonwealth (1601), Saint George for England, Allegorically Described (1601), England’s View in the Unmasking of two Paradoxes (1603), The Maintenance of Free Trade (1622) and The Centre of the Circle of Commerce (1623). He showed how an outflow of precious metals could lead to a fall in prices at home and a rise in prices abroad. This was an important clarification of the economic thought of the time. He suggested that higher import tariffs should be levied and exports of bullion prohibited, because he believed that a country’s growth was related to the accumulation of precious metals. He thought that exchange control should be used to improve the U.K. terms of trade, supporting his policy on the belief that the U.K.’s exports were price inelastic.

Reference: The Penguin Dictionary of Economics, 3rd edt.

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