History of economic thought


From the birth of economic science to the most recent theoretical developments: the thinking of the great men and women economists of the past, the scientific revolutions, the flourishing of ideas, the historical events that generated them, the way they have made their way, the liberal economics, socialist thought. Here are some of the contents of this exciting and interdisciplinary course that will allow you to look at the economy with the breadth of historical perspective. Student will learn the different contributions to economic analysis, as well as the distinctive features of schools and strands of economic thought (Physiocracy, Classical Economics, Marginalism, Neoclassical Economics, Keynesian Economics).


1. Chapter 1. Introduction. The Central Focus of Modern Economic Thought. Our approach to the History of Economic Thought. The role of heterodox economists. The problem of Presenting Diversity. Methodological Issues. Benefits to be gained from the study of the history of economic thought.

2. Part one: preclassical economics. Chapter 2. Early preclassical economics. Early preclassical economic thought. Greek thought. Scholasticism.

3. Questions for Review and Discussion.

4. Chapter 3. Mercantilism. Influencial Precursors of Classical Thought: Mun, Petty, Mandeville, Cantillon, Hume.

5. Physiocracy: natural law, the interrelatedness of an economy. Physiocratic economic policy.

6. Questions for Review and Discussion.

7. Part two: Classical economic thought, and its critics. Chapter 4. Adam Smith. Smith's Analysis of Markets and Policy Conclusions. The Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. International Trade.

8. Value theory. Distribution theory. Welfare and the General Level of Prices.

9. Questions for Review and Discussion.

10. Chapter 5. Ricardo and Malthus. David Ricardo, a theorist's theorist. The Malthusian population doctrine. Ricardo: Method, Policy, Scope. Ricardo's model. Ricardo's theory of land rent.

11. Ricardo's value theory. Ricardian distribution theory. Comparative advantage. Stability and Growth in a Capitalistic Economy. 12. Questions for Review and Discussion.

13. Chapter 7. Karl Marx. An overview of Marx. Marx's Economic Theories.

14. Marx's analysis of capitalism.

15. Questions for Review and Discussion.

16. Chapter 6. J.S. Mill and the Decline of Classical Economics. Post-Ricardian Developments. J.S. Mill: the background of his thought. Millian economics.

17. Part three. Neoclassical economic thought. Chapter 8. Historical Links. Jevons, Menger and Walras. A revolution in theory? Inadequacies of the classical theory of value.

18. Questions for Review and Discussion.

19. Chapter 8. What is utility? Comparison of Utility. Utility functions. Utility, Demand and exchange. The value of factors of production. Evaluation of Jevons and Menger. Classical versus the Emerging Neoclassical Theory of Value.

20. Chapter 11. Walras and the general equilibrium theory. Walras's General Equilibrium System. Vilfredo Pareto.

21. Questions for Review and Discussion.

22. Chapter 9. Marginal productivity theory (until p. 269).

23. Chapter 11. Vilfredo Pareto. Antonio de Viti de Marco.

24. Questions for Review and Discussion.

25. Chapter 10. Alfred Marshall and Neoclassical Economics. Scope of economics. Marshall on method. Understanding the complex. The problem with time. The Marshallian cross. Marshall on Demand. Consumer's surplus. Taxes and welfare.

26. Marshall on Supply. Marshall on Distribution. Quasi-Rent. Stable and Unstable Equilibrium. Economic fluctuations, money and prices.

27. Questions for Review and Discussion.

28. Economic thought in a gender perspective: the redefinition of the economic realm.

29. An overview of the economic ideas expressed in the writings and actions of women throughout history.

30. Questions for Review and Discussion.

31. Chapter 15. Keynesian Macroeconomics. The contextual Nature of the General Theory. The rise of the keynesian multiplier model: 1940-1960. Keynesian Policy. Keynes's Philosophical Approach to Policy.

32. Questions for Review and Discussion.


H. Landreth, D.C. Colander, History of Economic Thought, Houghton Mifflin Company, fourth edition.

For the topics related to women’s economic thought, materials will be provided during the lesson.


You can find the book here

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