1st Edition

The Evolution of Economic Ideas and Systems A Pluralist Introduction

By Geoffrey Schneider Copyright 2019
    206 Pages 24 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    206 Pages 24 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In order to fully understand the evolution and future growth of economic systems, we must draw on the lessons of economic history. The 2008 Financial Crisis, for example, mirrored past economic meltdowns with uncanny accuracy. Just like the Great Depression of the 1930s and the Savings and Loan Crisis of the 1980s, it featured deregulated lenders taking incredible risks with other people’s money. Historical analysis is crucial to understanding trends and patterns that can help us predict the future.

    This text presents a ground-breaking, pluralistic introduction to economic history and the history of economic thought. Tracing the development of economic systems and economic thought, the text introduces students to the story from ancient times to contemporary capitalism, and also its critics. Focusing in particular on Smith, Marx, Veblen, and Keynes, the text encourages students to consider which ideas and systems are still relevant in the modern world. This book can be used as a standalone text for relevant classes or as a supplement in any principles course.

    PART I: Economics: A pluralistic definition. 1. What is economics? 2. Scarcity, opportunity cost, and choice. PART II: The evolution of economic ideas and systems. 3. The evolution of pre-capitalist economic systems. 4. Adam Smith and the rise of capitalism. 5. Karl Marx and the dark age of capitalism. 6. Thorstein Veblen and monopoly capitalism. 7. Keynes and mixed market capitalism. 8. Modern economic systems.


    Geoffrey Schneider is a Professor of Economics at Bucknell University, USA. He directs the International Confederation of Associations for Pluralism in Economics and he has published numerous books and articles from a pluralistic perspective.

    "If you want to get your students excited about economics, this is absolutely the book to use. Readable, engaging, and relevant, it does a marvelous job of presenting the perspectives of competing paradigms alongside supporting evidence from contemporary events, economic history, and the history of economics."
    Professor John T. Harvey, Texas Christian University, USA