On Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations and the Continental (French), Intellectual Connection: There Was a Small, Intellectual Connection

28 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2015 Last revised: 16 Dec 2015

See all articles by Michael Emmett Brady

Michael Emmett Brady

California State University, Dominguez Hills

Date Written: November 25, 2015

Abstract

The common view among economists is that Adam Smith’s technical and economic analysis in the Wealth of Nations (1776) was not original and/or had been borrowed, much without proper credit or citation being made to the original authors. Smith’s contribution was taking the works of others and integrating it into a systematic whole. This claim is demonstrated to be false.

Much of Adam Smith’s work in the Wealth of Nations was highly original and creative. Smith’s work on decision theory, interval valued probability, the uncertainty versus risk divide, and his understanding of who the primary contributors were to the problems of deflation and inflation in the macro economy placed him at least 150 years ahead of any of his contemporaries. It was left to John Maynard Keynes and Joseph Schumpeter to equal and surpass Adam Smith’s contributions to economic theory and decision theory.

Keywords: uncertainty, decision making, nonlinear risk, indeterminate probability

JEL Classification: B10, B12, B20, B22

Suggested Citation

Brady, Michael Emmett, On Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations and the Continental (French), Intellectual Connection: There Was a Small, Intellectual Connection (November 25, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2695658 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2695658

Michael Emmett Brady (Contact Author)

California State University, Dominguez Hills ( email )

1000 E. Victoria Street, Carson, CA
Carson, CA 90747
United States

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