invisible hand


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Invisible Hand

A metaphor for the free market. Adam Smith coined the phrase, which refers to the idea that in the pursuit of maximizing one's self-interest, one tends to maximize the interests of society as a whole, as if an invisible hand were guiding both. For example, a man may open a mechanic shop to make money for himself, but in the process he may hire otherwise unemployed mechanics and service otherwise broken cars, which then facilitates business for the rest of the community. Proponents of deregulation have used the metaphor to illustrate their points, though others, notably Noam Chomsky, have argued that Smith did not intend to phrase to imply a lack of government intervention.

invisible hand

a term devised by Adam SMITH to denote the way in which the market mechanism (PRICE SYSTEM) is capable of coordinating the independent decisions of buyers and sellers without anyone being consciously involved in the process. Smith held that as the ‘invisible hand’ maximizes individual welfare and economic efficiency it is the automatic equilibrating mechanism of the competitive market. See PRIVATE-ENTERPRISE ECONOMY.
References in periodicals archive ?
My theoretical research had explained why Adam Smith's invisible hand was invisible-it wasn't there.
The willingness of Eastern nations to cooperate with Western ones on many economic and political matters dispels the invisible hand myth - unless someone cares to claim that the "invisible hand of the West" is forcing this cooperation.
In Landscape with Invisible Hand, the vuvv--aliens who've come to Earth as benevolent colonizers--make way for humanity to destroy itself by the hand of its own greed.
In a scenario that is reminiscent of Adam Smith's metaphor of the "Invisible Hand" which explains how free market dynamics make things happen for the greater good of society, the victims of Somalia's recent drought saw that Invisible Hand come to their rescue through ZAAD, the mobile money transfer service, provided by the local telecommunications company, Telesom.
Natalie Seeve-McKenna, Allerton The invisible hand PAUL McDERMOTT'S excellent letter reminded me of my thoughts on the Lottery and a recent BBC World Service programme, What's the Point of the Lottery (Good PR for May, ECHO, September 14).
5) In economics, the invisible hand is a metaphor used by Adam Smith to describe unintended social benefits resulting from individual actions.
The Invisible Hand Discusses the Future of the World
25 (BNA): Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud emphasised the importance of Arab and Islamic unity and the need to prevent any invisible hand from tampering with that.
But it appears that the invisible hand of the market has finally given the company a slap on the face, prompting management to rescind its steadfast rule because, apparently, the customer wants what the customer wants.
But contrary to the predictions of invisible hand theory, raising the minimum wage does not lead to layoffs or declines in job growth.
But then he concludes that in fact there is such an invisible hand at work if you think of it not as the aggregate of a lot of purely selfish decisions, but as the more complex operation of multilevel group selection, whereby competition between economic units encourages the growth of altruistic behavior within them.