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Russ Roberts joins us on this week’s episode of Free Thoughts to talk about his new book, How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life.

Aaron Ross Powell
Director and Editor
Trevor Burrus
Research Fellow, Constitutional Studies

Russell Roberts is a professor of economics at the George Mason University Mercatus Center, host of the award‐​winning podcast, EconTalk, founder of the Center for Experiential Learning at the John M. Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis, a regular commentator on business and economics for National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Cafe Hayek, and a published author.

What drives us to be concerned about others? In The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith says people are basically self‐​interested, and this is what drives market economies. Does this mean he’s saying people are selfish? Smith has a pretty simple formula for happiness. “Man naturally desires, not only to be loved, but to be lovely.” What does he mean by that? Can the study of economics really be about finding better ways to care for others…by recognizing that people are self‐​interested? How does that work?

Show Notes and Further Reading

Russell Roberts, How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness (book)

Adam Smith, The Weath of Nations (book)

Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (book)