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The Liberal World of a Classic and Social Welfare

  • Lyuben Kirev
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    This article to dedicated to the 230th anniversary of the publishing of Adam Smith`s work “The Wealth of Nations” (9 March, 1776). The subject of our study is the liberal world of Smith and social welfare. We highlight his contribution as a founder of the “homo economiqus” model, which asserts that self-interest underlies economic activity. Special attention is given to the benefits in micro- and macroeconomic aspect from free foreign trade, the negative effects of monopolistic trade companies and the understanding of the cosmopolitan nature of capital, substantiated by Smith. We specify the place he earmarks for the state in economy. The subject of our study are also Smith`s early ideas of the external factors /externals/, the restructuring of natural monopolies and the state as a bad proprietor. Arguing against several authors, who ascribe in a far-fetched manner the idea of optimal distribution of resources to the neoclassic economists, we uphold the understanding that rudiments of this idea are available as early as Smith and there are grounds that he can be deservedly ranked among the forerunners of institutionalism. The new reading of Smith`s works is not only an assessment of his merits and his personality, but it is also an explanation of the present, and a look into the future.

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    Article provided by Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute in its journal Economic Thought.

    Volume (Year): (2006)
    Issue (Month): 7 ()
    Pages: 89-108

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    Handle: RePEc:bas:econth:y:2006:i:7:p:89-108
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    1. Smith, Adam, 1759. "The Theory of Moral Sentiments," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number smith1759.
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