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Adam Smith and Economic Development in Theory and Practice: a rejection of stadial model?


  • Paganelli, Maria Pia


Adam Smith allegedly offers a model of economic development both in his Lectures on Jurisprudence and in the Wealth of Nations—the so called four stages of development model. The model presents a linear unfolding view of economic development from primitive to advanced stages. But Smith´s own historical examples systematically contradict this model. I thus question whether Adam Smith actually endorses and uses the four stages model of development to illustrate development and suggest that if he does, he does it to discredit it instead. For Smith history teaches that development is more accidental than fitting deterministic models.

Suggested Citation

  • Paganelli, Maria Pia, 2020. "Adam Smith and Economic Development in Theory and Practice: a rejection of stadial model?," SocArXiv ztc2y, Center for Open Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:osf:socarx:ztc2y
    DOI: 10.31219/

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