The Adam Smith Quiz

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9 Questions

What is Adam Smith known as?

The Father of Economics

What are the two classic works written by Adam Smith?

The Theory of Moral Sentiments and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations

What concept did Adam Smith develop?

Division of labor

What was Adam Smith's first published work?

The Theory of Moral Sentiments

What was Adam Smith's central message in The Wealth of Nations?

Rational self-interest and competition lead to economic prosperity

What is Adam Smith's legacy?

The decline of mercantilism in Britain, the embrace of free trade, and the spread of a broadly liberal economic model around the world

What did Smith believe about the division of labor and competition?

They lead to greater productivity, lower prices, and improved standards of living

What was Adam Smith's occupation before he became a professor?

Tutor

What was Adam Smith's religious views?

Debated

Study Notes

Adam Smith: The Father of Economics

  • Adam Smith was a Scottish economist and philosopher who lived from 1723 to 1790.

  • He is considered the Father of Economics and the Father of Capitalism.

  • Smith wrote two classic works: The Theory of Moral Sentiments and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.

  • The latter is considered his magnum opus and the first modern work that treats economics as a comprehensive system and an academic discipline.

  • Smith developed the concept of division of labor and expounded upon how rational self-interest and competition can lead to economic prosperity.

  • He was controversial in his own day, and his general approach and writing style were often satirized.

  • Smith studied social philosophy at the University of Glasgow and at Balliol College, Oxford.

  • He began delivering public lectures in 1748 at the University of Edinburgh, sponsored by the Philosophical Society of Edinburgh under the patronage of Lord Kames.

  • Smith earned a professorship at Glasgow University in 1751 and published The Theory of Moral Sentiments in 1759.

  • In 1764, Smith resigned from his professorship to take a tutoring position and tour Europe with his student.

  • Smith was appointed to a post as commissioner of customs in Scotland in 1778 and occupied the honorary position of Lord Rector of the University of Glasgow from 1787 to 1789.

  • Smith died in 1790, and his body was buried in the Canongate Kirkyard.The Life and Works of Adam Smith

  • Adam Smith was an 18th-century Scottish economist, philosopher, and author of The Wealth of Nations.

  • He was born in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, on June 5, 1723, and died on July 17, 1790.

  • Smith studied moral philosophy at the University of Glasgow and later at Balliol College, Oxford.

  • He was a professor of moral philosophy at the University of Glasgow from 1751 to 1764.

  • Smith's first published work was The Theory of Moral Sentiments in 1759, which he continued to revise until his death.

  • Despite being known for his economic theories, Smith considered The Theory of Moral Sentiments to be his superior work.

  • Smith's most influential work, The Wealth of Nations, was published in 1776 and is widely regarded as a precursor to the modern academic discipline of economics.

  • Smith's central message in The Wealth of Nations was that rational self-interest and competition could lead to economic prosperity.

  • Smith believed that the division of labor and competition lead to greater productivity, lower prices, and improved standards of living.

  • Smith's legacy includes the decline of mercantilism in Britain in the late 18th century, the embrace of free trade, and the spread of a broadly liberal economic model around the world.

  • Smith's religious views are debated, with some scholars arguing that his social and economic philosophy is inherently theological, while others argue that he was a deist or a theist.

  • Smith was described by his contemporaries as comically absent-minded, with peculiar habits of speech and gait, and a smile of "inexpressible benignity".Adam Smith: His Life, Work, and Legacy

  • Smith's allowance for wage increases in the short and intermediate term from capital accumulation and invention contrasted with Malthus, Ricardo, and Karl Marx in their propounding a rigid subsistence–wage theory of labour supply.

  • Joseph Schumpeter criticised Smith for a lack of technical rigour, yet he argued that this enabled Smith's writings to appeal to wider audiences.

  • The labour theory of value held that the value of a thing was determined by the labour that went into its production.

  • Neoclassical economics systematised supply and demand as joint determinants of price and quantity in market equilibrium, affecting both the allocation of output and the distribution of income.

  • Smith was more likely to be represented as the author of both The Wealth of Nations and The Theory of Moral Sentiments, and thereby as the founder of a moral philosophy and the science of economics.

  • Smith also opposed empire and challenged ideas that colonies were key to British prosperity and power.

  • Smith's most prominent disciple in 19th-century Britain, peace advocate Richard Cobden, preferred giving the colonies their independence.

  • Smith has been commemorated in the UK on banknotes printed by two different banks.

  • Smith has been celebrated by advocates of free-market policies as the founder of free-market economics.

  • Smith supported helping infant industries.

  • Some have also claimed that Smith would have supported a minimum wage.

  • Smith also noted the existence of an imbalanced, inequality of bargaining power.

Test your knowledge on the life, work, and legacy of Adam Smith, the Father of Economics. From his upbringing in Scotland to his academic career and influential writings, this quiz will cover key aspects of Smith's philosophy and economic theories. Discover his views on rational self-interest, competition, and the division of labor, and how they have shaped the modern economic landscape. See if you can answer questions on Smith's most famous works, including The Wealth of Nations and The Theory of Moral Sentiments, and

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