Political Economy

political economy

The British East India Company: Hero of Free Trade?

Walter Donway for AdamSmithWorks

Over two centuries, the arguments of corporations for monopoly “remained remarkably static,” but the experience of the corporations brought to bear in the debate “certain moments of conceptual innovation that trading corporations spurred and shaped.”

December 7, 2022

Review: Skjönsberg on Stafford's The Case of Ireland

Max Skjönsberg for AdamSmithWorks

While other countries improved in trade and wealth during the Enlightenment, Ireland remained relatively poorer longer. Adam Smith, James Stafford, and Max Skjönsberg weigh in on the case of Ireland.

November 9, 2022

Smith's Labor Theory Thought Experiment

Eric Schliesser for AdamSmithWorks

 If you look at the wider context, Smith is (a) either describing/stipulating a particular measure or (b) using a thought experiment to introduce a much more complex claim than the LTV. And (c) Smith has a number of measures of value. This last point (c) suggests that (d) strictly speaking Smith does not have a single theory of value at all in the sense that is at stake when people attribute a LTV to him.

October 12, 2022

Smithian Spectatorship in Liberal Democracies

Thomas Bunting for AdamSmithWorks

Adam Smith demonstrates the primacy of emotion and feeling for creating morality and society. For Smith, we experience these emotions through spectatorship, culminating in the creation of the impartial spectator.

September 14, 2022

Review: Skjönsberg on Sagar's Adam Smith Reconsidered

Max Skjönsberg for AdamSmithWorks

Conjectural Historian? Moral Philosopher? Political Economist?

What is and should be Adam Smith's place in the history of ideas? 

June 29, 2022

Francis Hutcheson: Property as a Way to Virtue

Erik Matson for AdamSmithWorks

March 2 2022
The rudimentary conventions of property emerge in Hutcheson’s account, as they do for Adam Smith, as a consequence of our native moral sentiments.

Adam Smith and "Market Failure" Fixers

Jason Briggeman for AdamSmithWorks

Smith did not intend for us to view the system of natural liberty as an ideal system; he himself advocated some interventions...Some government actions sacrifice the ordinary laws of justice to an idea of public utility, and some of those actions ought to be taken.

February 16, 2022

How Smithian was Sima Qian?

Kwok Ping Tsang for AdamSmithWorks

March 24, 2021

How much can we extract modern meanings from ancient texts, and why should we beware reading too much into the past?

Pro-Slavery, Anti-Smith

Timothy Sandefur for AdamSmithWorks

April 13, 2022

From Scotland to Buenos Aires: Adam Smith, Juan Hipólito Vieytes, and the Role of Self-Interest

Alvaro Perpere Viñuales for AdamSmithWorks

March 10, 2021

Hispanic culture did not seem very compatible with this praise of self-interest, which at first glance sounded excessively selfish and contrary to the religious moral maxim to love thy neighbor.

A Brief History of the Editions of TMS: Part 2

Erik W. Matson for AdamSmithWorks

If we confine ourselves to the editions of TMS we see Smith, in the first edition, set out largely on a project of moral anatomy. He lays out a novel account of moral judgment through sympathy. But he came gradually to blend his anatomy with painting, to fuse science with art.

December 4, 2020

A Brief History of the Editions of TMS: Part I

Erik W. Matson for AdamSmithWorks

Smith’s evolution across the six editions of TMS showcases his desire to refine his moral philosophy in an effort to extend what David Hume called “the science of man.”

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November 25, 2020

Would Adam Smith Protest in a Pandemic?

Maria Pia Paganelli and Anne-Pauline De Cler for AdamSmithWorks

strong resentment and thirst for vengeance, which are approvable according to Smith because they are a reaction to the disapproved of action of police brutality, can also be viewed as nourished by the mutual sympathy that is shared within a large community.

June 24, 2020

Adam Smith and T. Robert Malthus

Ross Emmett for AdamSmithWorks

January 8, 2020

Division of Labor, Part 1

by Michael Munger for AdamSmithWorks

August 7, 2019

Self Interest Rightly Understood

by Lauren Hall for AdamSmithWorks

October 1, 2018