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Tag Archives: invisible hand

David Sloan Wilson — How to Construct a New Invisible Hand: A Conversation with Peter Barnes

In a previous essay, I announced a new concept of the invisible hand to replace the old and erroneous idea that the pursuit of self-interest robustly benefits the common good. The new version is based on examples of the invisible hand that exist in nature, such as cells that benefit multi-cellular organisms and social insects that benefit their colonies. These lower-level units don’t have the welfare of the higher-level units in mind. They don’t even have minds in the human sense of the...

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Gavin Kennedy — Lost Legacies Stance of the Invisible Hand Is Endorsed

Weekend reading. Michael Emmett Brady, California State University, published in the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) he takes giant steps to demolishing Samuelson’s myth. Michael Emmett Brady writes the most significant contribution to the invsisible-hand debate since 1948: “Who Taught Paul Samuelson the Myth of the “Invisible Hand” at the University of Chicago? The most likely answer is Jacob Viner or fellow student George Stigler” .  Its author takes the invisible-hand debate...

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Wealth of Nations at 240

Last month Keynes' General Theory was 80. Today Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations turns 240 (h/t Paulo Gala)! Below the often misunderstood quote on the notorious invisible hand. He says: "As every individual, therefore, endeavours as much as he can both to employ his capital in the support of domestic industry, and so to direct that industry that its produce may be of the greatest value; every individual necessarily labours to render the annual revenue of the society as great as he can. He...

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