Smith, Adam

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Adam Smith

A Scottish philosopher who is credited with developing most of the ideas of modern economics. Smith believed that economies work most efficiently when economic actors attempt to maximize their own self-interests, and that doing so tends to maximize the interests of society as a whole. He also coined the term Invisible Hand, which is a metaphor for the free market. He published a number of influential works, most notably the Theory of Moral Sentiments and the Wealth of Nations. He lived from 1723 to 1790.

Smith, Adam

(1723–90) a Scottish economist whose writings formed the basis of CLASSICAL ECONOMICS. Smith's most famous book, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776), stressed the benefits of division of labour, discussed the need for SPECIALIZATION and exchange, and outlined the workings of the market mechanism (PRICE SYSTEM). Smith argued that if producers were free to seek profits by providing goods and services, then the ‘invisible hand’ of market forces would ensure that the right goods and services were produced. Provided that markets were free of government regulation, then in this LAISSEZ FAIRE environment competition would organize production in ways that would increase public wellbeing.

In competitive markets, producers would compete to sell more goods, forcing prices down to the lowest level that would cover production costs and allow normal profit to be made. Furthermore, if certain goods were scarce, buyers would offer higher prices, drawing more producers into these industries and swelling supply. In this manner, production in the market system would be driven by what consumers wanted.

Smith's outline of the market mechanism described the new economic system that was beginning to emerge in the newly industrializing Western countries. For the system to work, however, Smith acknowledged that two important conditions needed to be met:

  1. markets needed to be free of government intervention, without the close government regulation of economic activity as had prevailed prior to Smith's day;
  2. the self-seeking behaviour of producers could only be harnessed to the common good where competition prevailed, and Smith was deeply suspicious of MONOPOLIES, considering them to be conspiracies against the consumer. See PRIVATE-ENTERPRISE SYSTEM.
References in periodicals archive ?
Smith, Adam (1981 [1776]), An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.
Charles Smith, Adam Sell and Sameer Khambadkone recently joined the firm, and will focus on assisting clients with corporate finance-related issues such as capital structure advisory, debt facility amendments and restructurings, capital raising and acquisition/divestiture advisory.
Smith, Adam Leidemer, Jason Musko, Nicholas Magrey and Tammie Lefevre LaBonte.
Stephen Walter Fountain, Michael Sherman Henry, Steven Collins Jones, Koyt Blanton Kifer, Cory Benton Langston, Nelson Dumas Morrison, David Randall Noone, Robert Crawford O'Reilly, Logan Burch Phillips III, Jonathan Fleming Smith, Adam Haley Sowell, Gene Ganier Stock, Dudley Gatewood Walcott, Eric Steven Weimer, and Robert Baynes Womack.
Honours were also even when Upton AA (Danny Andrews, Paul Gloucester) entertained Helsby (Mike Smith, Adam Newbolt) while the Blacon YC v Ellesmere Port fixture had to be abandoned after 20 minutes due to a serious injury to a home player.
WATCHING BRIEF: Ryan Jones, grounded, can only watch as All Blacks Conrad Smith, Adam Thomson and Richie McCaw charge through HALTED: Wales' Jamie Roberts gets caught by All Blacks' Brendon Leonard Picture:
Andrew Langan, Cal Lowell, Devon Mah, Robert McAfee, Garron Medicine Crow, Cassandra Miller, Lorianne Morris, Aaron Nelson, Zachary Nelson, Tara O'Brien and Martha Ortiz, Claire Parmenter, Cassie Payne, Meghan Pershern, Clarena Pinckney, Isaak Post, Jesse Quinn, Harrison Rager, Shelby Raymond, Michael Rivera, Kyra Schneider, Nina Schrenk-Sigismund, Kayla Smith, Adam Sprague,
Among the talented performers who have graced its stage are Zach Galifianakis, Will Arnett, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, Adam Yauch, Dustin Hoffman, Janeane Garofalo, Chairlift, Charlie Louvin, Q-Tip and Questlove.
Front row: Daniel Smith, Adam Seamore, Stephen Thomas, Carwyn Edwards (captain), Rhys Pritchard, Lewis Evans, Craig Thomas
Derek Smith, Adam Moore and Dan Isaacs will report directly to DG FastChannel Chairman and CEO, Scott K.
Despite netting five times through Mark Roberts (2), Dave Southall (2) and Gary Sefton the Vineyard lost a 12 goal thriller versus Poulton Vics 7-5 as Scott Naylor (3), Liam Addick, Craig Smith, Adam Naylor and Chris Cousins found the net.