By Adam Smith

cover the wealth of nations

"An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, generally referred to by its shortened title The Wealth of Nations, is the magnum opus of the Scottish economist and moral philosopher Adam Smith. First published in 1776, the book offers one of the world's first collected descriptions of what builds nations' wealth, and is today a fundamental work in classical economics. By reflecting upon the economics at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the book touches upon such broad topics as the division of labor, productivity, and free markets."

(see table of contents)

Excerpt:

Download condensed version of the book published by the Adam Smith Institute (UK free market think thank)

Reviews:Allan Sloan on The New York Times wrote:

"I’ve been a business writer since 1969, I specialize in unearthing journalistic nuggets buried in lengthy financial documents that even lawyers find dull — and I’ve never been able to get more than 50 pages into Adam Smith. [...] But over the years, I’ve read introductions to the book and commentaries about it, listened to discussions of its principles and have even cited some of its points in my own articles. As with the Bible or “Moby-Dick,” you don’t have to be familiar with the entire work in order to grasp its essence."

Robert McCrum on The Guardian wrote:

"Although it provided a comprehensive and magisterial treatment of its subject, it was also a work of robust common sense, intelligible to any careful reader, braiding history, philosophy, psychology, and sociology in a compelling tapestry of theory and experience. Smith, writes one commentator, was concerned to improve 'the human condition in practical ways for real people'."



Background on the Author & His Work


Books about The Wealth of Nations


Modern Editions of The Wealth of Nations


Table of Contents

BOOK 1: INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, DISTRIBUTION AND INCOMES

  • Chapter 1: Industrial Specialization
  • Chapter 2: The Origins Of Industrial Specialization
  • Chapter 3: The Extent Of The Market Limits Specialization
  • Chapter 4: The Origins And Use Of Money
  • Chapter 5: The Real Economic And Nominal Monetary Prices Of Goods
  • Chapter 6: Supply Prices, Production Costs And Incomes
  • Chapter 7: The Natural And Market Prices Of Products
  • Chapter 8: The Wages Of Labour
  • Chapter 9: The Profits Of Capital
  • Chapter 10: Wages And Profits In Different Trades
  • Chapter 11: The Rent Of Land

BOOK 2: CAPITAL – ITS NATURE, ACCUMULATION AND USES

  • Chapter 1: Different Types Of Capital
  • Chapter 2: Monetary Capital
  • Chapter 3: The Accumulation Of Capital
  • Chapter 4: Capital Lent At Interest
  • Chapter 5: The Different Uses Of Capital

BOOK 3: NATIONAL ECONOMIC GROWTH AND PERFORMANCE DIFFERENCES

  • Chapter 1: The Natural Process Of Economic Growth
  • Chapter 2: The Discouragement Of Agriculture In Europe After The Fall Of The Roman Empire
  • Chapter 3: Urban Growth And Manufacturing After The Fall Of The Roman Empire
  • Chapter 4: The Contribution Of Urban Industry And Commerce To Rural Economies

BOOK 4: POLITICAL-ECONOMIC THEORIES AND POLICIES

  • Chapter 1: The Mercantilist Political Economic Model
  • Chapter 2: Restrictions On Importing Goods Capable Of Domestic Production
  • Chapter 3: Restrictions On Imports To Correct So-called Disadvantageous Trade Balances
  • Chapter 4: Tax Refunds On Exports
  • Chapter 5: Export Subsidies
  • Chapter 6: Treaties Of Commerce
  • Chapter 7: Colonies
  • Chapter 8: The Mercantilist System – Conclusions
  • Chapter 9: The Agricultural Political Economic Model – The Notion Of Land As The Great Source Of National Wealth

BOOK 5: GOVERNMENT FINANCES – PUBLIC EXPENDITURE, TAXATION AND BORROWING

  • Chapter 1: Government Expenditure
  • Chapter 2: The Sources Of General Public Revenues
  • Chapter 3: Public Debts