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Beyond Thomas Mun: the economic ideas of Edward Coke, Francis Bacon and Lionel Cranfield

Carlos Suprinyak ()

No 473, Textos para Discussão Cedeplar-UFMG from Cedeplar, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais

Abstract: This paper proposes to approach the economic ideas which prevailed in England during the early 17th century by moving beyond the historical and analytical exegesis of the printed pamphlets of the time, and focusing instead on the intellectual perspectives brought to bear upon economic matters by three of the most prominent public figures of late Jacobean England: Lionel Cranfield, Francis Bacon, and Edward Coke. As civil servants, all three of them were directly involved in the formulation of public policies aimed at economic regulation. Bacon and Coke, however, approached this problem as part of a larger system of public policy whose purpose was to promote order and stability in the commonwealth at large. Cranfield, on the other hand, brought a mercantile perspective to bear on the matter, emphasizing the importance of a favorable balance of trade, and stressing the usefulness of quantitative data in the assessment of economic phenomena. It is concluded that while Tudor political and social philosophy still dominated the way in which the English crown dealt with problems of an economic nature, the new perspective introduced by Cranfield exerted a perceptible influence within official circles.

Keywords: Stuart England; Lionel Cranfield; Francis Bacon; Edward Coke; public policy. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his and nep-hpe
Date: 2013-04
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