International Trade and Economic Growth in Open Economies

International Trade and Economic Growth in Open Economies

The Classical Dynamics of Hume, Smith, Ricardo and Malthus

John Berdell

In this enlightening book, John Berdell addresses the widely-held belief that classical economics distanced itself from policy issues and public debates regarding the effects of international trade on economic growth in advanced economies. He argues, through a detailed consideration of the evolution and structure of Hume’s, Smith’s, Ricardo’s and Malthus’ analyses, that it is not only contemporary international economic theory which takes account of these issues.

Chapter 3: Trading Animosity: Adam Smith and the Ambiguity of Nations

John Berdell

Subjects: economics and finance, economic psychology, history of economic thought, international economics

Extract

I A Projected Science and the ‘Project’ of an Empire Samuelson and Nordhaus once described the Wealth of Nations as ‘a practical handbook that might be entitled How to Make the GNP GT-OW’.~~ While this captures the spirit of the W ” s very important ‘Introduction and Plan of the Work’ it tends to obscure the fact that by the end of the work Smith has become s o perturbed by the history of British policy making that he advocated a subtle but ultimately far-reaching move in the direction of supra-national governance. Any suggestion that Smith sought to transpose government activity to a higher (than national) level, rather than simply to reduce it, must be controversial and decidedly tentative. Controversial because it impeaches Smith’s, retrospectively is sued, laissea-faire credentials. Tentative because it relies upon the never-to-be-completed last third of his ‘science of the legislator’. Tentative also, however, because it runs the risk of providing Adam Smith the free marketeer with a long-lost twin brother-a fully fledged and quite modern supporter of global governance. I will argue that two problematic elements in Hume’s literary legacy became central to Smith’s (skeptical) advocacy of a dramatic transformation in the nature of the British polity, and to his ambivalent attitude f towards the nation state. Though the Wealth o Nations (WN) might seem to take them for granted, national boundaries are actually a very potent threat to social progress throughout Smith’s intellectual system. National boundaries hinder the progress of material welfare in the WN, and...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information