1st Edition

A History of Australasian Economic Thought

By Alex Millmow Copyright 2017
    258 Pages
    by Routledge

    258 Pages
    by Routledge

    This overview of Australasian economic thought presents the first analysis of the Australian economic contribution for 25 years, and is the first to offer a panoramic sweeping account of New Zealand economic thought. Those two countries, both at the start of the twentieth century and at its end, excelled at innovative economic practices and harbouring unique economic institutions.

    A History of Australasian Economic Thought explains how Australian and New Zealand economists exerted influence on economic thought and contributed to the economic life of their respective countries in the twentieth century. Besides surveying theorists and innovators, this book also considers some of the key expositors and builders of the academic economics profession in both countries. The book covers key economic events including the Great Depression, the Second World War, the post-war boom and the great inflation that overtook it and, lastly, the economic reform programmes that both Australia and New Zealand undertook in the 1980s. Through the interplay of economic events and economic thought, this book shows how Australasian economists influenced, to differing degrees, economic policy in their respective countries.

    This book is of great importance to those who are interested in and study the history of economic thought, economic theory and philosophy, and philosophy of social science, as well as Australasian economics.


    1. Setting the Scene

    2. The Professionalization of Australasian Economics

    3. The Practical Utopia of Economics

    4. Ordeal by Fire: Australasian Economists and the Great Depression

    5. How Keynes came to Australasia

    6. War, Reconstruction and Economic Theory

    7. A Coming of Age for Australasian Economics

    8. The Flowering of Australasian Economics

    9. Hardly the Age of Aquarius

    10. The Age of Economic Reform

    11. Australasian Economics at Century’s End


    Alex Millmow is Associate Professor in economics at the Federation Business School, Federation University, Australia. He is also the President of the History of Economic thought Society of Australia. Alex’s research interests include the making of the Australian economics profession and the role of economic ideas in steering public policy.

    "A new book from the president of the History of Economic Thought Society Australia gives a wonderful introduction to a unique body of economic thought developed "at the end of the world". [...] If this beautiful, elegiac book does not move you to be proud to be an Australian or New Zealand economist then I fear you may need a heart transplant. A delicious little morsel at just over 250 pages, Alex Millmow’s A History of Australasian Economic Thought still manages to convey a distinct sense of what was a diverse but definably unique branch of economic thought in Australia and New Zealand."

    Brendan Markey-Towler, Industry Research Fellow, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia, published in Economic Record


    "Millmow’s penchant to make the story more 'personal' really makes the book engaging and very hard to put down without reading it from cover-to-cover. He writes about the Australasian economists as people and concentrates less on economic doctrines (what many previous national histories of economic thought have done) and more about the way the Australasian economists interacted with one another and with leading economists elsewhere. This is a good way of handling the vast literary material which is wide ranging in both geographical and doctrinal scope. Indeed there is something quite modern in Millmow’s chosen approach...This book will forever change the way we appreciate the history of Australasian economics not so much in an intellectual vacuum but in its connections to economic policy in the twentieth century. It will invite and inspire others to investigate in more detail many of the suggestive remarks in the broad vista that the author places before them."

    Anthony M Endres, Professor of Economics, University of Auckland, New Zealand


    "It is more than a survey of the writings of economists; it is really a history