Sic et Non: Three Remarks of Adam Smith to Economics of Governance

Frantisek Svoboda

Abstract


The work of Adam Smith is often interpreted as a justification of the natural order of economy, an apology which harmonizes individual and public interests. In addition to the concern for the economic system, Smith’s books comprise valuable passages in which the role of the state is explored within its both negative and positive implications. Generally, the corpus of his work includes three problem areas of fundamental importance for public economics. The first of these fields consists in the presentation of the tendency toward reciprocity as a significant trait of human behaviour. The second main topic constitutes a definition of the role of the State in economy, and it is based not only on the strictly economic assumption that the State ought to finance activities not profitable for a private person, but also on numerous exceptions. The third central issue then concerns the opportunism of individuals in its various forms. As the outlined topics are crucial for public economics, a further insight into Adam Smith’s ways of approaching them may be rewarding.

Full Text: PDF DOI: 10.5539/res.v5n5p97

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Review of European Studies   ISSN 1918-7173 (Print)   ISSN 1918-7181 (Online)

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