Saskia Vogel - Granta Magazine

Saskia Vogel

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Who Cooked Adam Smith's Dinner?

Katrine Marçal

Translated by Saskia Vogel

Adam Smith, the founder of modern economics, believed that our actions stem from self-interest and the world turns because of financial gain. But every night Adam Smith’s mother served him his dinner, not out of self-interest but out of love.Today, economics focuses on self-interest and excludes our other motivations. It disregards the unpaid work of mothering, caring, cleaning and cooking and its influence has spread from the market to how we shop, think and date. In this engaging takedown of the economics that has failed us, Katrine Marçal journeys from Adam Smith’s dinner table to the recent financial crisis and shows us how different, how much better, things could be.