Adam Smith's essentials: On trust, faith, and free markets

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


When trust is shaken, individuals pull back and the market system contracts. Where trust grows, individual energy and creativity are unleashed and the system grows. In Adam Smith's vision of humankind's progress, trust is the central theme. The Great Recession represents a classic case of a crisis of trust. Looking back to the work of Smith offers insight into the role of citizens and the State in creating an fruitful market environment based on trust, and the challenge of this process, given the human frailty of individuals (unfortunately, we are not angels) and the potential for State power to be captured and abused.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-267
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of the History of Economic Thought
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance
  • History and Philosophy of Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Adam Smith's essentials: On trust, faith, and free markets'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this