Publication | ThinkSet 7

Adam Smith’s Legacy Grows Alongside Threats to Free Economies

David Teece

Winter 2019

Two-and-a-half centuries ago, the legendary Adam Smith wrote a pair of seminal economic works that to this day echo through the global economy: The Theory of the Moral Sentiments (1759) and The Wealth of Nations (1776). Unfortunately, the ethical foundations of capitalism crafted by Smith and others are under fire, threatened in a world increasingly awash in mercantilist beggar-thy-neighbor policies, propagated by large and emerging economies alike.

Later this year, a group of concerned academics, business leaders and world citizens will gather at Smith’s private home in Scotland, Panmure House, and the nearby Balmoral Hotel, to reflect on what Smith saw as the moral and political underpinnings of capitalism; where economic theory and policy have gone in the intervening 250 years; and what we will need to do for democracy, society and the world economy to thrive over the next 250 years. Smith’s home was recently renovated by the Edinburgh Business School, so the gathering, in effect, will be the first international scholarly event held there.



Related Professionals

David J. Teece

Executive Chairman

San Francisco Bay Area

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