The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Economic War

  • P. J. D. Wiles
Reference work entry


Economic war constitutes all economic measures taken, before, during or instead of a military war, to harm an enemy. Compare protectionism, which is all the measures taken to ‘defend’ the national economy. These latter are often precisely the same measures. The subjective perception of how they do defend our own long-run economic interests is very often incorrect, and always controversial: for free trade lies at the root of Western economics. By contrast there is little theory about economic war, and (or so?) most of the measures taken seem by common admission well fitted to their time and place.

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. J. D. Wiles
    • 1
  1. 1.