Writing Assignment onAdam Smith, Wealth of Nations, Book I, Chapters 1, 2, 3


Writing Assignment onAdam Smith, Wealth of Nations, Book I, Chapters 1, 2, 3

Writing Assignment onAdam Smith, Wealth of Nations, Book I, Chapters 1, 2, 3 The questions below will help you to understand the first three chapters of Adam Smith’s famous book, in which he laid out the concept of the division of labour, its origin in human ability to exchange, and its consequences: specialization and wealth. The answers to the questions are tentative and meant to help you to understand the chapters. They provide youwith key insights into the text containing the main ideas, which will help to study for the exam. You should remember that the society Adam Smith lived in was in some aspects quite different from ours. This is the reason that his view on certain aspects is somewhat different from ours. For example Adam Smith explainsin his own way how talent comes about and how importantit is to have a port; today we might have a different take on these things. You should remember though that in the 18thcentury, societywas much more unequal than it is today and industrializationwas rather primitive and analogue. Chapter I1.According to Smith,why does the division of labour lead to an increase in production? 2.What benefits come fromthe division of labour? Chapter II3.What is according to Smith the principlewhich causes the division of labour ? 4.According to Smith, which other means could we use to get people to do what we want them to do?Why can we not use this principle instead of the principle of exchange?5.What is according to Smith the reason that we specialize ourselves to do a particular task?6.According to Smith, the difference in talents is the effect of the division of labour more than it may be its cause, why? 7.Explain how a society that develops according to Smith’s theory becomes strongly interdependent. Chapter III8.Why does the extent of the market limit the division of labour, according to Smith?9.Why is it so important for a nation’s wealth to have a port? 10.Which ideas discussed in chapter 1 and 2 of Cowen and Tabarrok go back onthese primary ideas ofAdam Smith?Short essay questionIn the Wealth of Nations Adam Smith explained that “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regardto their own interest.”Could we apply this idea to the context of your education at the UvA, and are the incentives involved effective?

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