HISTORY OF ECONOMIC THOUGHT
Winter Term 1996
Francesco Asso
Department of International Relations and European Studies
Central European University




Course Description

The course offers an overview on the history of economic thought from classical to 20th century economics. Rather than providing a chronological assessment of major doctrinal developments, specific attention will be given to the study of a selection of "foundation stones" which have formed the object of analysis of economists since Adam Smith.

The topics of each lecture have been chosen on the grounds of their connections to the theory of economic policy. Such "foundation stones" as the analysis of value, distribution, equilibrium, or capital in the history of economic thought, have been disregarded, while specific attention will be given to such topics as trade, money, economic regimes growth, and policy instrument.

Course Outline:
(RR: required reading, SR: supplementary reading)


Part 1: Introduction and Overview
Session 1. Theories of political economy: alternative approaches and methods.
RR: Caporaso-Levin (1992), Introd. and chs. 2, 4 and 5.
SR: Gilpin (1987), ch. 2. Parker (1986), chs. 1-3.

Part 2: Trade, wealth and power: the rise of the capitalist State
Session 2. The rationale for trade and capital accumulation in the classical economists.
RR: Clarke (1988), chs. 2 and 3; O'Brien (1975), ch. 7.
SR: Gilpin (1987), ch. 5.
Session 3. Trade policy and power policy in the history of economic thought.
RR: Hirschman (1980), ch. 1
SR: Robbins (1971)

Part 3: Money, International Finance and Monetary Systems
Session 4. The quantity theory of money in historical perspective.
RR: Blaug (1985), ch. 15.
SR: Friedman (1987)
Session 5. Alternative monetary regimes in the history of economic thought: the Gold standard.
RR: Eichengreen (1985), "Editor´s Introduction"
SR: De Cecco (1989)
Session 6. Alternative monetary regimes in the history of economic thought: XX century models.
RR: Flanders (1989), chs. 1, 2, 3, 9, 10 and 16
SR: Mckinnon (1993).

Part 4: Business Cycles, Growth and Full Employment
Session 7. Types of business cycles theories and the evolving international economy.
RR: Backhouse (1988), ch. 5
SR: Zarnowitz (1985).
Session 8. Growth, development, and economic depressions: alternative theoretical approaches.
RR: Backhouse (1988), ch. 2, Arndt (1987), chs. 2, 3 and 5.
SR: Pollard (1987).
Session 9. The evolution of wage and employment theory.
RR: Casson (1983), chs. 3, 7 and 8.
SR: Blyth (1989), Bronfenbrenner (1989).

Part 5: The political power of economic ideas
Session 10. The spread of economic ideas: interpreting the Interpretations of Keynes´ General Theory.
RR: Meltzor (1988), chs. 4 and 6.
SR: Patinkin (1990)
Session 11. Keynesianism across nations: the impact of the Keynesian revolution and the Monetarist counterrevolution.
RR: Hall (1989), chs. 1, 2 and 5, Cagan (1989).
SR: Hall (1989) (a choice of 3 different "case studies").


References:
Arndt, HW (1987) Economic Development. The History of an Idea University of Chicago Press
Backhouse, R (1988) Economist and the Economy. The Evolution of Economic Ideas: 1600 to the present day Oxford, Blackwell.
Blaug, M (1985) Economic Theory in Retrospect, Cambridge University Press
Blyth, CA (1989) "Wage Fund Doctrine," in J. Eatwell, M.Milgate, P. Newman (eds), The New Palgrave. A Dictionary of Economics, 4 vols, 1987, ad vocem.
Bronfenbrenner, M (1989) "Employment, Theories of," in J. Eatwell, M Milgate, P Newman (eds) The New Palgrave. A Dictionary of Economics, 4 vols, 1987, ad vocem.
Cagan, P (1989) "Monetarism," in J Eatwell, M Milgate, P Newman (eds) The New Palgrave. A Dictionary of Economics, 4 vols, 1987, ad vocem.
Caporaso, JA, Levine, DP (1992) The Theories of Political Economy, Cambridge University Press.
Casson, M (1983) Economics of Unemployment. An Historical Perspective, Oxford, Robertson.
Clarke, S (1988) Keynesianism, Monetarism and the Crisis of the State, Aldershot, Elgar.
De Cecco, M (1989) "Currency, coinage and the gold standard," in J. Eatwell, M Milgate, P Newman (eds) The New Palgrave. A Dictionary of Economics, 4 vols, 1987, ad vocem.
Eichengreen, B (1985) (ed) "The Gold Standard in Theory and History," New York, Methuen.
Flanders, MJ (1989) International Monetary Economics, 1870 - 1960: Between the Classical and the Neoclassical, Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press.
Friedman, M (1987) "Quantity Theory of Money," in J Eatwell, M Milgate, P Newman (eds), The New Palgrave. A Dictionary of Economics, 4 vols, ad vocem.
Gilpin, R (1987) The Political Economy of International Relations, Princeton University Press.
Hall, P (1989) The political Power of Economic Ideas. Princeton University Press.
Firschman, A.O (1980) National Power and the Structure of Foreign Trade. Berkeley, University of California Press.
McKinnon, R.I (1993) "The Rules of the Game: International Money in Historical Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, March.
Meltzer, A (1988) Keynes´ Monetary Theory: A Different Interpretation, Cambridge University Press.
O´Brien, D. (1975) The Classical Economists, Oxford, Clarendon Press.
Parke, W.N (1986) eds Economic History and the modern Economists, Oxford, Blackwell.
Patinkin, D (1990) "On Different Interpretations of the 'General Theory'," Journal of Monetary Economics, 4 vols, 1987, 26, pp. 205-243.
Pollard, S (1987) "Depressions," in J. Eatwell, M., Milgate, P., Newman (eds) The New Palgrave. A Dictionary of Economics, 4 vols, 1987, ad vocem.
Zarnowits, V (1985) "Recent works on business cycles ," in Historical Perspective: Journal of Economic Literature, June .



CRC-Curriculum Resource Center
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Modified: April, 1996

Aso_HistEcon.W96IR.v2

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