Front Page Titles (by Subject) II. The Mechanism According to Hume - Studies in the Theory of International Trade
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II. The Mechanism According to Hume - Jacob Viner, Studies in the Theory of International Trade 
Studies in the Theory of International Trade (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1965).
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II. The Mechanism According to Hume
In so far as the classical theory of the mechanism of international trade had one definite originator, it was David Hume.1 His main objective in presenting his theory of the mechanism was to show that the national supply of money would take care of itself, without need of, or possibility of benefit from, governmental intervention of the mercantilist type. He started out with the hypothesis that four-fifths of all the money in Great Britain was annihilated overnight, and proceeded to trace the consequences. Prices of British commodities and British wages would sink in proportion; British commodities would consequently overwhelm foreign competition in foreign markets, and the increase in exports would be paid for in money until the “level of money” in Great Britain was again equal to that in neighboring countries. Assuming next that the money in Great Britain were multiplied fivefold overnight, he held that prices and wages would rise so high in England that no foreign countries could buy British commodities, while foreign commodities, on the other hand, would become comparatively so cheap that they would be imported in great quantities. Money would consequently flow out of England until it was again at a level with that of other countries. The same causes which would bring about this approach to a common international level when disturbed “miraculously” would prevent any great inequality in level from occurring “in the common course of nature.” The same forces also would preserve an approximately equal level as between different provinces of the same country. An additional, though minor, factor, operating to correct “a wrong balance of trade,” was the fluctuations in the foreign exchanges within the limits of the specie points. If the trade balance was unfavorable, the exchanges would move against England, and this would become a new encouragement to export. The entire mechanism was kept in operation by the profit motive of individuals, “a moral attraction, arising from the interests and passions of men,” acting under the stimulus of differences in prices.
The mechanism, therefore, was according to Hume automatically self-equilibrating, was intranational as well as international, was bilateral, involving adjustments both at home and abroad, and consisted of such changes in the volume of exports and imports, resulting chiefly from changes in relative prices but also in minor degree from fluctuations in exchange rates, as would bring about or maintain an even balance of trade, so that no further specie need move to liquidate a balance.
In Political discourses , in Essays, moral, political, and literary, 1875 ed., I, 330-345, and especially 333-335.