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Revisiting Adam Smith’s Theory of the Falling Rate of Profit

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Smith’s theory of the falling rate of profit has been usually interpreted as a result of the intensification of competition in the markets of goods and services of the factors of production. This aspect of Adam Smith had been initially posed by Ricardo and subsequently was widely adopted by the major economists of the past as well as from the majority of the modern historians of economic thought. In our view, Smith’s analysis of the falling tendency in the rate of profit is by far more complex than usually presented and that the intensification of competition is the result of the falling rate of profit rather than its cause which is the capitalization of the production process.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Macedonia in its series Discussion Paper Series with number 2011_18.

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Date of creation: Nov 2011
Date of revision: Nov 2011
Handle: RePEc:mcd:mcddps:2011_18

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Web page: http://www.uom.gr/index.php?tmima=3

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Keywords: Rate of Profit; competition; mechanization; Adam Smith; Stationary State.;

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  1. Blaug,Mark, 1997. "Economic Theory in Retrospect," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521577014, April.
  2. Verdera, Francisco, 1992. "Adam Smith on the Falling Rate of Profit: A Reappraisal," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 39(1), pages 100-110, February.
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