Luxury and Economic Development: David Hume and Adam Smith
David Hume thought that a taste for luxury was desirable because it promoted economic and political development (it brought down feudalism, among other things). Adam Smith's early works follow a very similar line though, unlike Hume, he saw a taste for luxury as rather contemptible despite its desirable effects. In the Wealth of Nations, however, saving is the key to growth, suggesting that spending on luxury harms growth, but Smith wanted to hang on to the arguments he had taken from Hume. This may explain a number of oddities and inconsistencies in the Wealth of Nations. Copyright 1998 by Scottish Economic Society.
Volume (Year): 45 (1998)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
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