Economics 325: History of Economic Thought

Course Description:

History of Economic Thought examines the development of economic analysis from several different perspectives.

Mainstream economic thought begins with a study of preclassical writing and treats the development of traditional capitalist thought from the Mercantilists of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries through welfare economics and Keynesian theory of the twentieth century. A second perspective on economic thought is provided by analysis of the works of dissident economists. Here, discussion of Marx's view of capitalism will be complemented by an examination of post-Marxian socialist thought. Other methodologies that we will study, also critical of mainstream economics, include utopian socialist, German historical, institutionalist, and Austrian schools of economic thought.

Economic Theory did not develop in a vacuum. Therefore, throughout the course, the interplay between historical events and the development of economic theory and policy will be investigated. Further, because all economic theory is based on some set of values and beliefs about human nature and the world in which we interact, we will also analyze how contemporary philosophers, such as John Locke, Jeremy Bentham, Georg Hegel, and others, have influenced the direction of economic thought.

Prerequisite: Econ 100

Grades determined by three formal essays, one debate, and five quizzes.