AN INQUIRY INTO THE NATURE AND
CAUSES OF THE WEALTH OF NATIONS
by Adam Smith
INTRODUCTION AND PLAN OF THE WORK
THE annual labour of every nation is the fund which originally
supplies it with all the necessaries and conveniences of life which it
annually consumes, and which consist always either in the immediate
produce of that labour, or in what is purchased with that produce from
According therefore as this produce, or what is purchased with it,
bears a greater or smaller proportion to the number of those who are
to consume it, the nation will be better or worse supplied with all
the necessaries and conveniences for which it has occasion.
But this proportion must in every nation be regulated by two
different circumstances; first, by the skill, dexterity, and
judgment with which its labour is generally applied; and, se . . .