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Adam Smith Week

Every spring semester we organize Adam Smith Week. Through a variety of events, Adam Smith Week is a way for the Center to create awareness and explore important topics in political economy, entrepreneurship, and the role of government. The weeklong event has a series of education opportunities for students, faculty, and the community to engage in the discussion on Adam Smith and his economic philosophy.

Adam Smith is one of the most recognizable figures in economics, and his contributions to the fields of philosophy and economics are still relevant today. Smith explained that the wealth of nations was created through changes in the division of labor, growth of firms and industries. Entrepreneurship was essential to the division of labor and, hence, to economic growth. 

Adam SmithWho is Adam Smith?
Adam Smith’s 1776 book, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, is one of the most important works in economics. As Smith endeavors to explain, the fundamental idea of the market's "invisible hand" is such that individuals' self interest often promotes society's interests. Illustrating this concept is the following passage:

“It is not from the benevolence of the butcher the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity, but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities, but of their advantages.”

March 19-24, 2017 Adam Smith Week

Our 9th Annual Adam Smith Week held on March 19-24, 2017 was a great success. This year we saw a record turnout during Adam Smith Week, as more than 800 students, faculty, staff, and community members participated in ten events during six days. We were fortunate to bring to campus speakers who presented on a variety of topics from etiquette and experimental economics to the roles of entrepreneurs, the morality of the market, immigration issues, and career advice. Common to these workshops, panel discussions and public talks was Adam Smith and his views on political economy. Our speakers included Candace Smith, Vernon Smith, Bart Wilson, Virgil Storr, Sahar Akhtar, Dwight Lee, and Tori Schallot, Tom Dugan, Dave Seamans and Jamie Johnson were College of Charleston’s alumni.

This year we had the honor of hosting Dr. Vernon Smith, the 2002 Nobel Prize Winner in Economics, who participated in a panel discussion on Experimental Economics, along with Calvin Blackwell (College of Charleston) and Bart Wilson (Chapman University). We were excited to greet our honored guests at the reception with the economics faculty, alumni and administration. Dean Shao, Colby Rankin, Kendra Conway, and Denise Ciccarelli helped organize the reception and Center’s business advisor John Cerasuolo became the official host offering kind remarks about his involvement with the Center.

Dwight Lee and Center’s Director Peter Calcagno engaged the students in a discussion about Adam Smith following the showing of the documentary The Real Adam Smith. 

We gladly welcomed our partners who helped us co-sponsor Adam Smith Week events - the Bastiat Society, the Young Americans for Liberty, and the Institute for Humane Studies. And our Market Process Scholars - David Ahnen, Nick Catherall, Taylor Crawford, Elizabeth Mandell, Meg Montgomery, Katherine Lawson, and Liz Ward - were instrumental during all the events. They greeted and introduced the speakers to the audience, helped with attendance cards, prepared summaries of events and renamed engaged during the talks by asking insightful questions.

Adam Smith Week Calendar


The Center's history of Adam Smith Weeks


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