Economists have not always been on friendly terms with scientists from other fields. More than once, economists have been accused of 'imperialism' or criticized for neglecting the insights obtained in other fields. The history of economics, however, yields manifold examples of interdisciplinary 'borrowing' where economists have adapted concepts and theories from other fields. This book deals with the exchanges (or sometimes the lack thereof) between economics and neighbouring disciplines.
The contributions examine specific cases and episodes taken from the history of economics, indicating that many important economists were paying attention to what happened beyond the borders of their own field. The themes covered include:
- the interaction of economics with literature, Christian theology, history, demography, and natural sciences
- the relationships between economics and policy, and economics and 'common sense'.
With contributions from leading specialists, this volume will prove essential reading not only for those working in economics, but also those interested in the possibilities of disciplinary cross-fertilisation in any subject.
Table of Contents
Preface. Introduction 1. Economic Life in Nineteenth Century Novels: What Economists Might Learn from Literature 2. The Beginning of 'Boundaries': The Sudden Separation of Economics from Christian Theology 3. History and Economic Analysis in German Nineteenth Century Economics 4. Jevons and Wicksteed: Crossing Borders in the History of Economics 5. Economists as Demographers: Wicksell and Pareto on Population 6. Competition and Economic Temperature: The Entropy Law in Emanuele Sella's Work 7. Particles or Humans? Econometric Quarrels on Newtonian Mechanics and the Social Realm 8. Disciplinary Developments in Dutch Economics and the Emergence of the Dutch Welfare State (1930-1960)
Guido Erreygers is Professor of Economics at the Faculty of Applied Economics (UFSIA-RUCA) of the University of Antwerp. His research interests include history of economics, linear production theory, inheritance, and natural resource economics. With Toon Andevelde he has edited the book Is Inheritance Legitimate? (Berlin, Springer, 1997). He has published on the history of economics in various books and journals.