The History of Economic Ideas: Economic Thought in Contemporary Context, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The History of Economic Ideas

Economic Thought in Contemporary Context, 1st Edition

By Brandon Dupont

Routledge

252 pages | 20 B/W Illus.

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Description

The global financial crisis has drawn attention to the importance of understanding historical ideas and learning lessons from the past. However, it can sometimes be difficult to trace the connections between old ideas and modern day issues. This textbook traces the evolution of economic ideas from the ancient to the modern world by examining the contributions of the most important scholars to some of the most important ideas in economics.

The History of Economic Ideas surveys topics that are important for the understanding of contemporary economic issues, including the ethical foundations of modern economics; ideas regarding property rights; price theory; money and interest; public finance; the theories of business cycles and economic growth; international trade; and issues related to population and resource use. The book’s originality lies in its overall organization, which allows readers to explore the development of ideas on a specific topic in detail. Yet it is brief enough to use alongside the original writings on which it is based.

Filled with student-friendly features including a series of "Did You Know" facts and end-of-chapter questions, this book is engaging and provides invaluable reading for all students of the history of economic thought and economic issues.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Chapter 1: An Overview of the History of Economic Ideas

Why Study the History of Economic Ideas?

A Very Brief Summary of 2,000 Years of Economic Ideas

References

Suggestions for Further Reading and Online Resources

Chapter 2: The Ethical Foundations of Economics

Chapter Overview

The Idea of Justice in Ancient Economic Thought

Ethics and Economics in the Scholastic Tradition

Adam Smith's Moral Philosophy

Utilitarianism in Modern Economics

Modern Welfare Economics: Pareto Efficiency and Social Welfare

The Ethical Perspectives of Rawls and Sen

Insights from Behavioral and Experimental Economics

Chapter Conclusion

Questions for Review and Discussion

References

Chapter 3: Property Rights from Plato to the 21st Century

Chapter Overview

Theories of Property Rights in the Ancient World

The Idea of Property in the Middle Ages 86

Property Rights in the Age of Enlightenment and Classical Economics

Karl Marx’s Challenge to the Private Property System

Modern Perspectives on Property Rights

Chapter Conclusion

Questions for Review and Discussion

References

Chapter 4: The Emergence of Modern Price Theory

Chapter Overview

Aristotle's Legacy: Justice in Exchange

Just Price In the Roman Law Tradition

The Just Price Concept in Scholastic Economic Thought

Pre-Classical Theories of Value: Petty, Cantillon, and the Physiocrats

The Labor Theory of Value in Classical Economics

The Marginalist Revolution 147

Toward Modern Price Theory: Alfred Marshall's Synthesis

Chapter Conclusion

Questions for Review and Discussion

References

Chapter 5: Money, Lending, and Interest

Chapter Overview

Money and Usury in the Ancient Scholarship

Money and Interest in Early Islamic and Christian Scholarship

The Changing Perspectives of the 16th Century

Usury in Classical Economic Thought

Chapter Conclusion

Questions for Review and Discussion

References

Chapter 6: Public Finance in Historical Perspective

Chapter Overview

Taxation and Justice in the Ancient World

Seventeenth-Century Perspectives

The Physiocrats and "L’Impôt Unique"

Perspectives on Debt and Taxation in Classical Economics

Late 19th-Century Perspectives: Knut Wicksell and Henry George

The Keynesian Revolution: New Perspectives on Government Borrowing and Taxation

The Theory of Optimal Taxation: From Ramsey to Mirrlees

The Flat Tax, the Negative Income Tax, and the National Sales Tax

Chapter Conclusion

Questions for Review and Discussion References

Chapter 7: Depressing Thoughts—Theories of Recessions and Depressions

Chapter Overview

Pre-Classical Theories of Business Cycles

The Classical Theory of Recessions

The Economics of Business Cycles Before Keynes: Wicksell and Fisher

The Keynesian Revolution

The IS-LM Model

Countering Keynes: The Austrians and the Monetarists

New Keynesians and New Classicals

Chapter Conclusion

Questions for Review and Discussion

References

Chapter 8: Economic Growth Theory in Historical Perspective

Chapter Overview

Classical Economic Growth Theory

Economic Growth as an Evolutionary Process

Modern Growth Theory: From Harrod-Domar to Endogenous Growth

Chapter Conclusion

Questions for Review and Discussion

References

Chapter 9: The History of International Trade Theory

Chapter Overview

Trade Theory in Pre-Classical Economics

Mercantilist Trade Doctrine

Classical Theories of International Trade

Extensions of the Classical Model: Heckscher-Ohlin, Stolper-Samuelson, and the New Trade Theory

Empirical Evidence: International Trade and Economic Development

Chapter Conclusion

Questions for Review and Discussion

References

Chapter 10: Population, Environmental, and Resource Issues in Historical Perspective

Chapter Overview

Malthusian Population Theory

Modern Versions of the Malthusian Theory

The Stationary State and the Value of Environmental Amenities

William Stanley Jevons and the Coal Question

Marshall, Pigou, and the Economics of Externalities

The Coase Theorem

The Economics of Common Pool Resources

Chapter Conclusion

Questions for Review and Discussion

References

Index

About the Author

Brandon Dupont is Associate Professor of Economics at Western Washington University, USA, where he teaches economic history, political economy, and the history of economic thought. His research interests include a variety of topics in American economic history and the history of economic thought.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUS000000
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / General
BUS069000
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / General
BUS069030
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / Theory