Wealth Definition of Economics: its features and criticism

Classical  economists  Adam Smith and J.B. Say developed  study of  wealth.

As per Adam Smith,” Economics  is an enquiry into the nature and causes of wealth of nations”.

As per J.B. Say,” Economics  is the science  which treats of wealth”.

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The key features of Wealth Definition  are:

  1. Economics is a study of wealth  only. As per this the aim of Economics  is only increasing  the amount of wealth in a nation.
  2. Wealth consider only material goods ,which we can see or touch only those goods. It does not include non material goods like service of a doctor, lawyer etc.
  3. Causes of increase in wealth mainly depends upon production on large scale and wide market.
  4. As per this Definition  man who is well aware of his self interest such a man is called economic man.

Criticism: The wealth definition is criticized due to following reasons:

  • It gives more importance to  wealth and second importance to  man but man is medium who generates wealth.
  • Secondly, this Definition is related with only material goods  rather than non material.
  • It considered man as economic  man, rather Economics is the study of  social man who keeps social welfare in mind.
  • This Definition mainly considered on wealth generation rather than human welfare.
  • This Definition also ignores problem of scarcity and choice.

To conclude, the wealth  Definition is a narrow and vague definition. It is not only the study of nature and causes of wealth rather it is a social study.

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