John Rae and Adam Smith

Samuel Hollander

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Introduction John Rae represented Smith as maintaining an unconditional laissez faire stance regarding economic development. Sometimes he attributed the view that “legislative interference [is] necessarily and essentially evil�? to “the followers of Adam Smith,�?2 but Smith himself is also held responsible (Rae 1834:76-7). His concern was to show to the contrary “that the legislator may operate with advantage to the community, 1st. in the transfer of foreign arts to his own country; 2d, in applying to useful purposes funds which would otherwise be dissipated in luxury�? (Rae 1834:362). The primary purpose of this chapter is to demonstrate how close-despite appearances -Smith and Rae were in practice, considering not only Smith’s significant allowances for government intervention, but also Rae’s own profound caution.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Economics of John Rae
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)0203976592, 9781134725243
ISBN (Print)0415158672, 9780415158671
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (all)
  • Business, Management and Accounting (all)


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