Wealth of Nations

Cosimo, Inc.
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Adam Smith revolutionized economic theory with his 1776 work An Inquiry to the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. He proposed rules governing labor, supply, and demand; and describes division of labor, stockpiling of wealth, lending, and interest. Smith also discusses how economies lead to opulence. Wealth of Nations also offers a defense for free-market capitalism. This edition of Wealth of Nations is an abridged version edited by Harvard economics professor CHARLES JESSE BULLOCK (1869-1941) and published in 1901 by Harvard Classics, a series that offered the essential readings for anyone who wanted the functional equivalent of a liberal arts education. Any student of economics should be familiar with the concepts and laws that Smith developed, as much of economic theory is still based upon his work. Scottish economist and philosopher ADAM SMITH (1723-1790) helped set standards in the fields of political economics and moral philosophy, playing a key role in the early development of the scholarship of economics. His other writings include Essays on Philosophical Subjects.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Cosimo, Inc.
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Published on
Nov 1, 2007
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Pages
596
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ISBN
9781602069398
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Economic History
Business & Economics / Economics / Theory
History / United States / Colonial Period (1600-1775)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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This carefully crafted ebook: “The Invisible Hand of the Market: The Theory of Moral Sentiments + The Wealth of Nations (2 Pioneering Studies of Capitalism)” is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents. The invisible hand of the market is a metaphor conceived by Adam Smith to describe the self-regulating behavior of the marketplace. The exact phrase is used just three times in Smith's writings, but has come to capture his important claim that individuals' efforts to maximize their own gains in a free market benefits society, even if the ambitious have no benevolent intentions. Smith came up with the two meanings of the phrase from Richard Cantillon who developed both economic applications in his model of the isolated estate. He first introduced the concept in The Theory of Moral Sentiments, written in 1759. In this work, however, the idea of the market is not discussed, and the word "capitalism" is never used. By the time he wrote The Wealth of Nations in 1776, Smith had studied the economic models of the French Physiocrats for many years, and in this work the invisible hand is more directly linked to the concept of the market: specifically that it is competition between buyers and sellers that channels the profit motive of individuals on both sides of the transaction such that improved products are produced and at lower costs. This process whereby competition channels ambition toward socially desirable ends comes out most clearly in The Wealth of Nations, Book I, Chapter 7. The idea of markets automatically channeling self-interest toward socially desirable ends is a central justification for the laissez-faire economic philosophy, which lies behind neoclassical economics. In this sense, the central disagreement between economic ideologies can be viewed as a disagreement about how powerful the "invisible hand" is.
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