Edinburgh Business School to Buy Adam Smith’s House
| Peter Klein |
How would you like to take economics classes in Adam Smith’s house? Edinburgh Business School students will have the pleasure after the school completes its purchase of Panmure House, Adam Smith’s home from 1788 to 1790. Smith was born in nearby Kirkaldy and spent much of his academic career in Glasgow, but lived in Edinburgh on several occasions and was a prominent member of Edinburgh society.
Some commentators find it ironic that the house’s current owner, Edinburgh’s City Council, is selling to the university rather than accept a higher, competing bid from a private citizen. So much for the free market! But, as a careful reading of Smith reveals, Smith was hardly an advocate for unrestricted laissez-faire, supporting substantial public expenditures on infrastructure and education as well as the legal system and national defense (see David Gordon and Gavin Kennedy).