The magnum opus of economist and moral philosopher Adam Smith


Adam Smith Needs a Paper Clip, by Virginia Postrel, Reason, May 2017
A short history of pins as fasteners from Adam Smith in the late 18th century to the invention of the paper clip at the turn of the 19th century
"Adam Smith famously used a pin factory to illustrate the advantages of specialization ... because the different tasks were performed under one roof: "... the important business of making a pin is, in this manner, divided into about eighteen distinct operations, which, in some manufactories, are all performed by distinct hands ..." By improving workers' skills and encouraging purpose-built machinery, the division of labor leads to miraculous productivity gains. Even a small and ill-equipped manufacturer, Smith wrote in The Wealth of Nations, could boost each worker's output from a handful of pins a day to nearly 5,000."
Related Topics: Free Trade, Adam Smith


An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, by Adam Smith, Mar 1776
Partial contents: Of the Causes of Improvement in the productive... - Of the Nature, Accumulation, and Employment of Stock - Of the different Progress of Opulence in different Nations - Of Systems of political Œconomy - Of the Revenue of the Sovereign...
Related Topic: Economics