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
Date Written: April 30, 2018
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: Suggested Citation