Lesson 23
Morality in Markets: The Two Faces of Adam Smith

This lesson introduces the student to the two sides of the work of Adam Smith. First, students participate in an active learning exercise that illustrates how free trade in markets can help individuals and nations accumulate wealth. This activity also highlights the benefi ts of competitive and free markets. Second, students participate in discussions that help them understand the importance of morality in markets, as explained by Smith and others. Overall, this lesson addresses these important questions: How can free trade help individuals accumulate wealth? Are competitive individuals who pursue their own self-interests able to provide valuable services to others? Do you gain or lose when you trade with people who only care about themselves? What do you do if trading partners are dishonest and untrustworthy and do not reveal all of the pertinent information? Why is morality important to people who want to help themselves and others grow and develop in their communities, states, and nations through mutually advantageous exchanges?


  • Exchange
  • Free Trade
  • Trade
  • Voluntary Trade

Standards in Economics and Personal Finance

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