Okayama Economic Review
Published by the Economic Association of Okayama University

アダム・スミスの大きな政府論の形成過程に関する一考察 : 『法学講義』から『国富論』への租税論の発展

Niimura, Satoshi
Adam Smith is well known as an archetypal, leading economist and advocate of laissez-faire capitalism. In fact, Smith analyses the autonomous mechanism of a market economy, criticises mercantile protection, and strongly advocates a free trade policy. However, a considerable number of Smith’s interpreters such as J.Viner have recognised that Smith himself offers many exceptions to laissez-faire. Interestingly, most of the exceptions are not presented in Lectures on Jurisprudence( LJ); they appear for the first time in The Wealth of Nations( WN). Rather than inconsistencies in the passing, these references seem to reflect a conscious shift in Smith’s policy principle from laissez-faire with a small government to state intervention under a big government. In WN, Smith maintains support for the laissez-faire approach only in the area of foreign trade, and prescribes state intervention in other areas such as banking, financial markets, public works and institutions, and taxation. This article focuses particularly on the evolution of Smith’s view on taxation from LJ to WN. Smith insists in LJ that taxation should be minimised so as not to interfere with the behaviour of various economic agents and the autonomous mechanism of a market economy. However, Smith renounces his fundamental idea of taxation in WN, which indicates support for the imposition of heavier taxes on the rich and reduced taxes on the poor. He proposes an increase in land tax and rejects taxes on profit and wages. He favours various types of progressive taxes and criticises regressive ones, concerning land, houses, and toll, among others. Notably, Smith strongly supports various kinds of “taxes upon the capital value of lands, houses and stock” such as succession tax, land tax, house-rent tax and“ stampduties and duties of registration” indirectly taxed on interest.
論説 (Articles)