An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (Chinese-English Bilingual Edition)
An important theme that persists throughout the book is the idea that the economic system is automatic, and, when left with substantial freedom, able to regulate itself. This is often referred to as the “invisible hand.” The ability to self-regulate and to ensure maximum efficiency, however, is threatened by monopolies, tax preferences, lobbying groups, and other “privileges” extended to certain members of the economy at the expense of others.
It is the magnum opus of the Scottish economist and moral philosopher Adam Smith. First published in 1776, the book offers one of the world's first collected descriptions of what builds nations' wealth, and is today a fundamental work in classical economics. By reflecting upon the economics at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the book touches upon such broad topics as the division of labour, productivity, and free markets.
This division of labour, from which so many advantages are derived, is not originally the effect of any human wisdom, which foresees and intends that general opulence to which it gives occasion. It is the necessary, though very slow and gradual, consequence of a certain propensity in human nature which has in view no such extensive utility; the propensity to truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another.
- Introduction and Plan of the Work
- Book I Of the Causes of Improvement is the Productive Powers of Labour, and of the Order According to Which its Produce is Naturally Distributed Among the Different Ranks of the People
- Book II. Of the Nature, Accumulation, and Employment of Stock
- BOOK III Of the DifferentProgress of Opulence in DifferentNations
- Book IV Of Systems of PoliticalEconomy
- Book V Of the Revenue of the Sovereign or Commonwealth