By Michael Fry
The individuals, together with ten Nobel Laureates, contemplate topics as various as Smith's use of knowledge, his angle to human capital and his perspectives on financial coverage. Heirs to Smith additionally they give some thought to the present nation of economics.
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Additional resources for Adam Smith's Legacy: His Place in the Development of Modern Economics
33 The several quotations given in my Appendix I, under similar headings in each section, show very clearly how identical Smith’s fundamental ideas are to those of his predecessors and contemporaries. They doubtlessly also allow an appreciation of the clarity and pertinence of Condillac’s thought. THE GENERAL THEORY OF SURPLUSES 39 The two central ideas of Smith’s fundamental economic analysis From an overall view of the underlying fundamental economic analysis in The Wealth of Nations, and generally in the literature of the eighteenth century, two major propositions emerge and assert themselves.
Though Schumpeter’s general judgement may appear hard at first sight, one can only concur: But no matter what he actually learned or failed to learn from predecessors, the fact is that The Wealth of Nations does not THE GENERAL THEORY OF SURPLUSES 33 contain a single analytic idea, principle or method that was entirely new in 1776. Those who extolled Adam Smith’s work as an epoch-making, original achievement were, of course, thinking primarily of the policies he advocated—free trade, laissez-faire, colonial policy and so on.
Not only do we find significant periodicities in the wheat price series used by Smith, but we also find evidence of periodicities in Wilson’s series. 1 To substantiate his observation that a general business cycle in the modern sense did not exist prior to the late 1700s, Wilson calculated the correlation matrix for coal, iron and steel, and textiles. Of the six bivariate correlations, he found only one to be significant, namely, that between coal and textiles. 7 Periodogram: coal 1717–86 a general tendency among different series to fluctuate together, in a general business cycle pattern.