Wealth of Nations
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.
The Wealth of Nations, 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 labor, productivity, and free markets.
The distinction between the real and the nominal price of commodities and labour is not a matter of mere speculation， bur:may sometimes be of considerable use in practice. The same real price is always of the same value; but on account of the variations in the value of gold and silver， the same nominal price is sometimes of very different values. When a landed estate， therefore， is sold with a reservation of a perpetual rent， if it is intended that this rent should always be of the same value， it is of importance to the family in whose favour it is reserved， that it should not consist in a particular sum of money. Its value would in this case be liable to variations of two different kinds: first， to those which arise from the different quantities of gold and silver which are contained at different times in coin of the same denomination; and， secondly， to those which arise from the different values of equal quantities of gold and silver at different times.
Princes and sovereign states have frequently fancied that they had a temporary interest to diminish the quantity of pure metal contained in their coins; but they seldom have fancied that they had any to augment it. The quantity of metal contained in the coins， I believe of all nations， has accordingly been almost continually diminishing， and hardly ever augmenting. Such variations， therefore， tend almost always to diminish the value of an rent.
The discovery of the mines of America diminished the value of gold and silver in Europe. This dinunution，it is commonly supposed， though I apprehend without any certain proof， is still going on gradually， and is likely to continue to do so for a long time. Upon this supposition， therefore， such variations are more likely to diminish than to augrent the value of a money rent， even though it should be stipulated to be paid， not in such a quantity of coined money of such a denomination （in so many pounds sterling， for example）， but in so many ounces， either of pure silver， or of silver of a certain standard.
- INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK
- BOOK ONE OF THE CAUSES OF IMPROVEMENT IN THE PRODUCTIVE POWERS OF LABOUR
- BOOK TWO OF THE NATURE, ACCUMULATION, AND EMPLOYMENT OF STOCK
- BOOK THREE OF THE DIFFERENT PROGRESS OF OPULENCE IN DIFFERENT NATIONS
- BOOK FOUR OF SYSTEMS OF POLITICAL ECONOMY
- BOOK FIVE OF THE REVENUE OF THE SOVEREIGN OR COMMONWEALTH