publication . Article . 2009

Adam Smith and the Invisible Hand: From Metaphor to Myth

Gavin Kennedy;
Open Access
  • Published: 01 Jan 2009 Journal: Econ Journal Watch, volume 6, issue 2 May, pages 239-263
Abstract
Adam Smith and the ‘invisible hand’ are nearly synonymous in modern economic thinking. Adam Smith is strongly associated with the invisible hand, understood as a general rule that people in realising their self-interests unintentionally benefit the public good. The attribution to Smith is challengeable. Adam Smith’s use of the metaphor was much more modest; it was re-invented in the 1930s and 1940s onwards to bolster mathematical treatments of capitalism (Samuelson, Friedman) and to support innovative analysis by associating the metaphor with ‘spontaneous order’ (Hayek). The effect has been to ignore insightful explanations about how markets function a...
Subjects
free text keywords: Adam Smith,invisible hand,metaphor, jel:A13, jel:B0, jel:B1
51 references, page 1 of 4

Andriopoulos, S. 1999. The invisible hand: supernatural agency in Political economy and the Gothic novel. English Literary History 66(3): 739-758.

Arrow, K. 1987. economic Theory and the hypothesis of rationality. in The New Palgrave: a dictionary of Economics, ed. John eatwell, murray milgate and Peter newman. london: macmillan, 2-71.

Arrow, J., and F. Hahn. 1971. General Competitive Analysis. san Francisco: holden-day.

Aydinonat, N.E. 2008. The Invisible Hand in Economics: How Economists Explain Unintended Social Consequences. london: r outledge.

Baumol, W. 1991. a Glimpse of the invisible hand. in Economics, Culture, and Education, ed. shaw, G. K. elgar, aldershot. Cheltenham: edward elgar Publishing.

Bonar, J. 1966 [1932]. A Catalogue of the Library of Adam Smith, author of the 'Moral Sentiments' and 'The Wealth of Nations'. new y ork: a ugustus m Kelly.

Bonnet, C. 1781 [1764]. Contemplation de la nature. in Œvres, vol 4, p 443, marc-michel ray, amsterdam.

Bradley, R., and M. Edmonds. 2005 [1993]. Interpreting the Axe Trade: production and exchange in neolithic Britain, Cambridge: Cambridge university Press.

Buchan, J. 2006. Adam Smith and the pursuit of liberty. London: Profile Books.

Buckle, H. T. 1885 [1857]. History of Civilisation in England. london: longmans, Green, and Co.

Burman, P. 1734. De vectigalibus populi romani, et Zeus Kataibates sive Jupiter Fulgarator in Cyrrhestarum nummis. leidae, Wishoff.

Copley, S., and K. Sutherland, eds.1995. Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations: new interdisciplinary essays. manchester: manchester university Press.

Corey, John. 1797. Essential Principles of Wealth of Nations, illustrated in Opposition to some False Notions of Dr. Adam Smith and others. london.

Defoe, d . 1722a. Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders. london.

Denis, A. 2005. The invisible hand of God in adam smith. Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology Volume, 23a: 1-32. [OpenAIRE]

51 references, page 1 of 4
Powered by OpenAIRE Open Research Graph
Any information missing or wrong?Report an Issue