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Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

Print version ISSN 0101-3157On-line version ISSN 1809-4538

Abstract

MATTOS, Laura Valladão de. As razões do laissez-faire: uma análise do ataque ao mercantilismo e da defesa da liberdade econômica na Riqueza das Nações. Rev. Econ. Polit. [online]. 2007, vol.27, n.1, pp.108-129. ISSN 0101-3157.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0101-31572007000100006.

The reasons of the laissez-faire: an analysis of the attack to mercantilism and of the defense of economic liberty in The Wealth of Nations. The main reasons presented in The Wealth of Nations to advocate the system of economic liberty and reject mercantilism are analyzed. These two systems are evaluated considering basically their impact on the annual product, and the degree of liberty and justice they engender. Based on his views of man and of capital hierarchy, Smith defends the superiority of economic liberty in what concerns the growth of the annual product. This system is also considered superior to mercantilism in terms of justice since it does not privilege any sector of society and allows a great level of liberty to the individuals.

Keywords : Adam Smith; liberalismo econômico; mercantilismo; justiça; acumulação de capital.

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