Is the Invisible Hand Un-Smithian? A Comment on Rothschild

Economics Bulletin, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 1-9, April 2006

9 Pages Posted: 30 May 2006

See all articles by N. Emrah Aydinonat

N. Emrah Aydinonat

University of Helsinki - Department of Political and Economic Studies

Abstract

Rothschild (2001) argues that the invisible hand refers to blind individuals and presume privileged knowledge on the part of the social scientist. For this reason, she takes it that the invisible hand is, in fact, an un-Smithian concept and that Smith was making an ironical joke. In this brief comment, I argue that the invisible hand does not imply blind and futile individuals or privileged knowledge and it cannot be argued that it is an un-Smithian concept on these grounds. Briefly, it is argued here that although it may be true that Smith used the invisible hand somewhat ironically, this does not imply that it is un-Smithian.

Keywords: Adam Smith, invisible hand, unintended consequences

JEL Classification: B12, B31, B41

Suggested Citation

Aydinonat, N. Emrah, Is the Invisible Hand Un-Smithian? A Comment on Rothschild. Economics Bulletin, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 1-9, April 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=904802

N. Emrah Aydinonat (Contact Author)

University of Helsinki - Department of Political and Economic Studies ( email )

P.O. Box 54
FIN-00014 Helsinki
Finland

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