Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology / Department of Humanities & Social Sciences / K. Christ
IA353:  History of Economic Thought
This course surveys the history of economic thought by  exploring secondary and original source material from  historical, methodological and rhetorical points of view. 
Click here for a syllabus for Spring 2014



Click here for K. Christ's homepage 


Sources / Links:

            History of Economic Thought at New School (The best place to find information on economists, alive and otherwise.)

            McMaster University Archive  (Excellent archive of online historical texts in economics.)

            The Online Library of Liberty (The Liberty Fund)  (Another excellent archive of online historical texts in economics and political science.)

            Philosophy on the EServer  (Excellent archive of online philosophical texts.  Look here for Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, etc.)

            Udayan Roy's History of Economic Thought Page (Excellent archive of online HET texts.)  

Transparencies / Slides used in class:

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9  

Course Schedule, Spring 2014

Week Date Topic Readings / Links
1 March 10 Introduction Sandmo, chapter 1
  March 11 Ancient Speculations Sandmo, 2, pp 1 - 18; Hausman, pp 28 - 37
  March 13 Readings discussion:  Ancient texts Genesis, chapter 41; Leviticus, chapter 25

Aristotle, Ethics, Book 5, chapters 3 - 5; Politics, Book 1, chapters 3 - 10

Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part:  Q66 Article 1; Q66, Article 2; Q77, Article 1; Q78, All 4 articles.

  March 14 The "great gap" and the "great transformation" Sandmo, chapter 2 (pp 18+)
2 March 17 Readings discussion:  Precursors to Classical economics Mandeville, The Grumbling Hive

Mun, England's Treasure by Foreign Trade, chapters 2 - 4

Locke, "Of Property", from Two Treatises on Government

Quesnay, Tableau Economique
  March 18 Adam Smith Sandmo, chapter 3
March 20 Readings discussion:  Smith

Smith, The Wealth of Nations, Book 1, chapters 1 - 7

  March 21 In-Class Peer Review Exercise  
3 March 24 Classical Economics:  Ricardo, Malthus, Mill Sandmo, chapters 4 and 5
  March 25 Readings discussion: Ricardo, Mill

Ricardo, Principles of Political Economy and Taxation, chapters 4 - 5

Mill, Principles of Political Economy, Book 3: chapters 1, 2, 14; Book 4: chapter 6

  March 27 Karl Marx

Sandmo, chapter 6

  March 28 Readings discussion:  Marx

Marx, The Communist Manifesto

Marx, selections from Das Kapital

4 March 31 The Marginalist Revolution Sandmo, chapters 7 to 9
  April 1 Neoclassicism and Welfare economics Sandmo, chapters 10 to 12; Wikipedia:  Edgeworth-Bowley Box
  April 3 Readings discussion:  The Marginalist "Revolution" Jevons, selections from The Theory of Political Economy:  Preface to 1st (1871) edition and Chapter 1 (McMaster archive)

Marshall's Inaugural Lecture, "The Present Position of Economics" (Password protected -- go to Moodle course page

Marshall, selections from The Principles of EconomicsBook I, Chapter 3, "Economic Generalizations or Laws"  (McMaster archive)

  April 4 In-Class Peer Review Exercise  
5 April 7 Alternative views Sandmo, chapter 13
  April 8 The Systems Debate Sandmo, chapter 14
  April 10 Readings discussion:  Institutionalism Veblen, "The Limitations of Marginal Utility"

  April 11 Readings discussion:  Austrian economics Hayek, The Road to Serfdom, and "The Use of Knowledge in Society"
6 April 14 Keynes and Keynesianism Sandmo, chapter 15
  April 15 Readings discussion:  Keynes
Keynes, "The end of laissez-faire", and selections from The General Theory
  April 17 The Keynesian crisis and modern macroeconomics Sandmo, 18, pp 416 - 420
  April 18 In-Class Peer Review Exercise Sample annotated outline
7 April 28 Readings discussion:  Macroeconomic Schools of Thought

"A Stimulating Notion," The Economist, February 16, 2008

Selections from Samuelson, Economics -- An Introductory Analysis [Handout]

  April 29 Empirical advances, Econometrics Sandmo, chapter 16
  May 1 Formalism, Finance, and GE Sandmo, chapters 17 and 18, pp 420+
  May 2 Readings discussion:  Modern Formalism

Arrow, Social Choice and Individual Values

Debreu, Theory of Value

8 May 5 Philosophy of science and economics Hausman, pp 1 - 18 and 37 - end
Wikipedia Portal:  Philosophy of Science
  May 6 No class:  Research paper consultations (by appointment)  
  May 8 Readings discussion:  Methodology (Positivism) Friedman, "The Methodology of Positive Economics"
  May 9 Readings discussion:  Methodology (Rhetoric) McCloskey, "The Rhetoric of Economics" Journal of Economic Literature 21:2 (March 1987), 481 -- 517. Available via  JSTOR through the Logan Library research databases
9 May 12 Research Paper Seminar:  
  May 13 Research Paper Seminar:  
  May 15 Research Paper Seminar:  
  May 16 Research Paper Seminar:  
10 May 19 Research Paper Seminar:  
  May 20 Research Paper Seminar:  
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  May 23 Research Paper Seminar: