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Sample Essay on History of Economic Thought and Globalization

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Sample Essay on History of Economic Thought and Globalization
  1. In your own words, briefly explain Adam Smith’s concept known as division of labor? What benefits does it provide?

Adam Smith’s concept of division of labor rests on the notion of workforce specialization, which according to Smith involves breaking down complex jobs into many tiny components and assigning each worker an isolated area of production that best serves his or her interest. According to Adam Smith, division of labor improves efficiency in production, eliminates instances of mundane and repetitive tasks that would create an ignorant and more dissatisfied workforce. The process leads to a higher production of goods and services and creation of surplus outputs, which the government or a company can reinvest into other areas of production.

  1. In your own words, briefly explain Adam Smith’s thoughts on the following:
  2. Relationship between rich and poor

Adam Smith begins his discussion on the relationship between the rich and the poor by stating that social pain in all connections is as aversive as physical pain, and the main reason why people pursue riches is to attract attention, build social connections and allow others to treat them with high levels of dignity. The only connection between those who are rich and those who are poor according to Adam Smith is the fact that the rich use the poor as their social ladder while poor people have few attributes to count from the rich. 

  1. The proper government’s role

According to the beliefs of Adam Smith, the limited role a government has in every economic performance is a prescription for growth and creation of wealth. In this case, Adam Smith thought of how best the government can limit its administrative activities and allow for free market operations. The proper role of the government in this case include administration of justice, enforcement of private property rights as well as ensuring that the country is out of aggression.

  1. How mercantilism affects the domestic poor

According to Smith, a country can decide to use its systems of political economy to enrich members of the public by encouraging local investors to engage in exports while restraining consumption of foreign goods. By encouraging exports, a country collects and accumulates wealth, hence creating favorable balance of trade and proper maintenance of domestic employment.

  1. In the Reason TV interview of Russ Roberts on Adam Smith and the Theory of Moral Sentiments, in your own words:
  2. Briefly explain the concept of beneficence, and how it relates to free markets?

Beneficence refers to the action taken by one party to benefit or promote the good of other people. In economic theory, the concept of beneficence discourages selfish behaviors of market actors, which in most cases have direct or indirect impact on the recipients of a service or a product, for example the case of monopoly. Market actors should therefore operate with a mind of improving the welfare of another party and not fulfilling their own interests.

  1. Which is more compatible with free markets, a government solution to local problems or voluntary collective action and why?

A voluntary collective action is more compatible with free markets because under government regulations, market actors feel restrained or forced to adjust to market changes. A voluntary collective action means that the market actors are capable of responding on their own to market demands through purchase or deliveries.  

  1. Define confirmation bias and the “cherry-picking” of data and state how they are related, feel free to use an example.

Cherry picking refers to process of making references to particular information in order to have a firm base while assuming sections concerned with information that may give a contradicting position. On the other hand, confirmation bias is the tendency to interpret data in a way that presents a person’s belief through and inductive reasoning. The two terms are related in the sense that they both follow the processes of inductive reasoning and may as well be the foundation for cognitive bias.


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