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The Wealth of Nations was a precursor to the modern academic discipline of economics. After graduating, he delivered a successful series of public lectures at Edinburgh, leading him to collaborate with David Hume during the Scottish Enlightenment.
In this and other works, he developed the concept of division of labour, and expounded upon how rational self-interest and competition can lead to economic prosperity.
In Smith was the graduate scholar presented to undertake postgraduate studies at Balliol College, Oxford, under the Snell Exhibition.
Smith obtained a professorship at Glasgow teaching moral philosophy, and during this time he wrote and published The Theory of Moral Sentiments. The latter, usually abbreviated as The Wealth of Nations, is considered his magnum opus and the first modern work of economics.