Common Good, Private Purposes.

Module 2, Lesson 2.1: The Good: Competition, Prices, & Entrepreneurship (Adam Smith)


In this first lesson of Module 2, Associate Professor Paulo dos Santos discusses the good in capitalist economies by introducing two notable political economists who argued that markets, competition, and well-functioning price systems are the best ways for an industrial society to organise itself: Adam Smith and Friedrich Hayek. This video focuses on Adam Smith.

By the end of this video (1/2), learners will be able to:

  • Explain Adam Smith’s argument that market competition tends to force individual producers to act in ways that promote the social good
  • Discuss how specialization and the division of labor contribute to increases in labor productivity