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Rent and Profit in the Wealth of Nations


  • Brewer, Anthony


This paper draws attention to two relatively neglected features of Adam Smith's analysis of rent and profit. First, he assumed that all land is used for something and that there are many agricultural products. There is no zero rent margin in David Ricardo's sense but the decision to invest in improving unimproved land plays a rather similar role to Ricardo's margin. Second, Smith always assumed an open economy. If these are given full weight, his theory makes a good deal more sense than is often supposed. Copyright 1995 by Scottish Economic Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Brewer, Anthony, 1995. "Rent and Profit in the Wealth of Nations," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 42(2), pages 183-200, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scotjp:v:42:y:1995:i:2:p:183-200

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    Cited by:

    1. Glenn Hueckel, "undated". "Smith's "Mutiny on the Bounty": The Perils of Polemic," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2002-13, Claremont Colleges.

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