Classical economic growth : an analysis in the tradition of Adam Smith


Classical economic growth : an analysis in the tradition of Adam Smith

Gavin Clydesdale Reid

B. Blackwell, 1989

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Bibliography: p. [191]-202

Includes indexes



A treatment of classical economic growth, as derived from Adam Smith, in a modern analytical fashion. The themes discussed are rooted firmly in the traditions of classical growth analysis: the methods and the concerns are modern. The necessary background in classical economics and growth theory is provided to make the book self-contained. Then a modern approach is applied to the central themes of classical economic growth analysis: technical change, the division of labour, capital accumulation, thriftiness, the competitive process, increasing returns, sectoral disequilibria and the functional distribution of income. The book starts with growth and accumulation at the industry level, moves to fluctuations and growth at the aggregate level, and then the bargaining power of capital, and de-skilling, are analysed in an aggregate model. A sectoral disequilibrium analysis, which emphasizes the role of increasing returns and extends the work of Allyn Young and Nicholas Kaldor, is provided. The book concludes by relating classical growth analysis to the problems of a modern post-industrial economy.


  • The Classical Perspective
  • Allocation versus Accumulation
  • Theories of Smithian Growth
  • Growth and Accumulation at the Industry Level
  • The Division of Labour and Technical Change
  • Fluctuations and Growth at the Aggregate Level
  • Bargaining Power and the Division of Labour
  • Disequilibrium and Increasing Returns
  • Classical Economics in a Post-Industrial Society.

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