Adam Smith's lost legacy

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22 Scopus citations


This piece outlines Adam Smith's moral philosophical vision. It traces the central role he ascribed to civic ethics as an antidote to the incentives for rent-seeking and thus as a key element in the successful development of a constructive, cohesive liberal society. The case is made that standard neoclassical analysis, as represented by the work of Gary Becker, identifies no such antidote and thus cannot model the constructive liberal case. The best modern work on the issue is that of Amartya Sen and of James Buchanan. Sen's work and its relation to Smith's vision are examined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)497-517
Number of pages21
JournalSouthern Economic Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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