Schumpeter's Assessment of Adam Smith and 'The Wealth of Nations': Why He Got It Wrong

27 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2016 Last revised: 6 May 2018

See all articles by Andreas Ortmann

Andreas Ortmann

UNSW Australia Business School, School of Economics

David Baranowski

Independent

Benoit Walraevens

University of Caen Normandy

Date Written: April 30, 2018

Abstract

In his History of Economic Analysis, Joseph Schumpeter (Schumpeter 1954a) dismissed Adam Smith’s Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (Smith 1976) in a blunt and ad hominem manner. We argue that Schumpeter’s assessment resulted from his failure to appreciate the rhetorical structure of Smith’s masterpiece, a failure largely due to Schumpeter not having access to student notes of Smith’s lectures on rhetoric that surfaced only after Schumpeter’s death.

Keywords: Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, rhetoric, rhetorical structure of The Wealth of Nations, Schumpeter, History of Economic Analysis

JEL Classification: B10, B12, C70, C72

Suggested Citation

Ortmann, Andreas and Baranowski, David and Walraevens, Benoit, Schumpeter's Assessment of Adam Smith and 'The Wealth of Nations': Why He Got It Wrong (April 30, 2018). UNSW Business School Research Paper No. 2015 ECON 28. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2714146 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2714146

Andreas Ortmann (Contact Author)

UNSW Australia Business School, School of Economics ( email )

High Street
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

David Baranowski

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

Benoit Walraevens

University of Caen Normandy ( email )

Esplanade de la Paix
Caen, 14000
France

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