The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Natural and Normal Conditions

  • John Eatwell
Reference work entry


For economic science to begin, the object which that science is to investigate must be defined unambiguously. This definition was first provided by Adam Smith in Chapter 7 of Book 1 of the Wealth of Nations. There Smith defined the object of the analysis of value and distribution to be the mode of determination of ‘natural’ prices. Marshall replaced the evocative label ‘natural’ with the more prosaic ‘normal’.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Eatwell
    • 1
  1. 1.