Questions tagged [adam-smith]

Economic questions that are related to a Scottish economist Adam Smith, the author of "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations"

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Understanding Adam Smith's assertion about the incentives of receipt holders and bank money holders

At Chapter III of Book IV of The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith makes the following assertion: Even in ordinary and quiet times, it is in the interest of the holders of receipts to depress the agio, ...
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102 views

What does Adam Smith mean when he says wages are determined by: "advancing, stationary, or declining state of the society."

I'm reading the Wealth of Nations. Smith explains in Book One that wages for labor are determined not by how wealthy a nation is but rather by its rate of growth. At the end of chapter seven he ...
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83 views

Was Adam Smith correct about the relative marginal productivities of capital in agriculture, manufacturing, and trade?

Adam Smith (1776): No equal capital puts into motion a greater quantity of productive labour than that of the farmer. After agriculture, the capital employed in manufactures puts into motion the ...
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530 views

What does Adam Smith mean by equality of condition?

According to Chomsky, Adam Smith distingushes between equality of opportunity and equality of condition and that he supported the latter over the former. Although I have come across the former term ...
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38 views

Prices in 'The Wealth of Nations'

While reading 'The Wealth of Nations', I have come across terms like nominal price, consumer price, actual price, exchange price. What each means? What is the difference between them? Note: I am ...
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How £800,000 of specie is above what the circulation can employ?

I'm reading this (clicking it will download a PDF, so, do as you find good) analysis of Adam Smith's theory of banking and money. On page 13, the author writes: For example, Smith (293) says that if ...
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128 views

Did Adam Smith make a calculation error in Chapter XI of Book I?

Excerpt from Chapter XI of The Wealth of Nations (emphasis mine): The money-price of wool, therefore, in the time of Edward III, was to its money-price in the present times as ten to seven. The ...
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135 views

What does Smith mean by "price of work" in this context?

I've read these excerpts from The Wealth of Nations multiple times: In reality high profits tend much more to raise the price of work than high wages In raising the price of commodities the rise of ...
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93 views

Where did Adam Smith write the following and in what context?

Contra the a certain fetishisation of Adam Smiths thought he wrote: The vile maxim of the masters of mankind: all for ourselves and nothing for other people. I'm assuming that this is from his ...
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18 views

Why does the prohibition of importing foreign goods mean that the industry should not exceed what it can maintain?

In Chapter II of Book IV of The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith makes the following assertion: To prohibit, by a perpetual law, the importation of foreign corn and cattle, is in reality to enact, that ...
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50 views

Is Adam Smith's "stock" an archaic version of "capital"?

In The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith uses the word "stock" many times, but not with the meaning we ascribe to it today (supply of an asset, inventory). I take it that he refers to capital, ...
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28 views

Why does the transportation of commodities yield a profit but that of gold and silver doesn't?

In Chapter I of Book IV of The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith makes the following assertion: The transportation of commodities, when properly suited to the market, is always attended with a ...
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759 views

In Smith's theory, what is the difference between the "nominal price" vs. "market price" and "real price" vs. "natural price"?

In Adam's Fallacy, Foley writes: "Smith distinguishes what he calls the nominal price of a commodity (the amount of money for which it exchanges) from the real price of the commodity, the amount of ...
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46 views

Zero-sum games being converted into positive-sum games

It seems as if "pure, naked self-interest", that is, self-interest without liberty, results often in a zero-sum game. (I'm using the term liberty in a Lockean sense, where it is taken to mean the ...
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52 views

Researching the "invisible hand" in academic literature

The idea of the invisible hand could be expressed as: in a competitive market, agents acting selfishly in their own self interests will make choices that benefit others. There are innumerable popular ...
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33 views

Is There a Good Companion for Theory of Moral Sentiments

I am reading "The Theory of Moral Sentiments" by Adam Smith. There's a lot of technical, and/or dated language. Is there a good companion to read this with?
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Did the word "than" mean something different in The Wealth of Nations? [closed]

What does the last phrase after the last comma in this sentence mean? And, in the end, the civil magistrate will find that he has dearly paid for his intended frugality, in saving a fixed ...