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This 2005 book traces the history of economic thought from its prehistory to the present day.
From the ancients to the moderns, questions of economic theory and policy have been an important part of intellectual and public debate, engaging the attention of some of history’s greatest minds. This book brings together readings from more than two thousand years of writings on economic subjects. Through these selections, the reader can see first-hand how the great minds of past grappled with some of the central social and economic issues of their times and, in the process, enhanced our understanding of how economic systems function. This collection of readings covers the major themes that have preoccupied economic thinkers throughout the ages, including price determination and the underpinnings of the market system, monetary theory and policy, international trade and finance, income distribution, and the appropriate role for government within the economic system. These ideas unfold, develop, and change course over time at the hands of scholars such as Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas, John Locke, François Quesnay, David Hume, Adam Smith, Thomas Robert Malthus, David Ricardo, John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, William Stanley Jevons, Alfred Marshall, Irving Fisher, Thorstein Veblen, John Maynard Keynes, Milton Friedman, and Paul Samuelson. Each reading has been selected with a view to both enlightening the reader as to the major contributions of the author in question and to giving the reader a broad view of the development of economic thought and analysis over time. This book will be useful for students, scholars, and lay people with an interest in the history of economic thought and the history of ideas generally.
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.
The new edition of this classroom classic retains the organizing theme of the original text, presenting the development of thought within the context of economic history. Economic ideas are framed in terms of the spheres of production and circulation, with a critical analysis of how past theorists presented their ideas.
Study of the grand ideas in economics has a perpetual intellectual fascination in it’s own right. It can also have practical relevance, as the global economic downturn that began in 2007 reminds us. For several decades, the economics establishment had been dismissive of Keynesianism, arguing that the world had moved beyond the “depression economics” with which it dealt. Keynesian economics, however, has now staged a comeback as governments attempt to formulate policy responses to the Great Recession of the first decade of the twenty-first century. Many of the issues that faced economists in the past are still with us. The theories and methods of such men as Adam Smith, T. R. Malthus, David Ricardo, J.S. Mill, Karl Marx, Alfred Marshall, and J. M. Keynes are often relevant to us today—and we can always learn from their mistakes. In his stimulating analysis Professor Barber assesses the thought of a number of important economists both in terms of the issues of their day and in relation to modern economic thought. By concentrating on the greatest exponents he highlights the central properties of the four main schools of economic thought – classical, Marxian, neo-classical, and Keynesian – and shows that although each of these traditions is rooted in a different stage of economic development, they can all provide insights into the recurring problems of modern economics.
This book describes the history of economic thought, focusing on the development of economic theory from Adam Smith's 'Wealth of Nations' to the late twentieth century. The text concentrates on the most important figures in the history of the economics. The book examines how important economists have reflected on the sometimes conflicting goals of efficient resource use and socially acceptable income distribution.--[book cover].

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