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Economics 5343
Seminar on the History of Economic Thought

Steve Gardner 
Fall 2008
Course Objectives
A student who successfully completes this course should:
  • understand the historical continuities and interruptions in the subject matter and methods of economics that have been explored and employed since the days of Moses and Aristotle.
  • understand the intellectual, cultural, and material forces that have shaped the historical development of economics
  • be able to locate and interpret original classic texts materials, and appreciate the different methods of exposition that have been used to develop and transmit economic ideas.
  • gain cultural literacy by understanding the contributions of the major schools of economic thought (Mercantilists, Physiocrats, Classicals, Marxists, Keynesians, Monetarists, etc.), and gain familiarity with their major contributors.
  • apply theories and concepts from the course to practical issues in economic behavior and policy.
Required Texts Recommended on Reserve in Moody Library
  • Abbott, Leonard Dalton, ed., Masterworks of Economics , McGraw-Hill, 1973.
  • Spiegel, Henry William. The Growth of Economic Thought . Duke University Press, 1971.
  • Sweezy, Paul. The Theory of Capitalist Development. Oxford University Press, 1942.
Related Web Sites Grading 
Semester grades will be based on your performance on three examinations and a term paper, each accounting for one-fourth of the course grade. Unless you are told otherwise, each test will include a combination of multiple choice and essay questions. Look here for guidelines on writing the term paper.  See other important information under Attendance, below. 
Attendance
In keeping with University regulations, students who miss over 25% of class meetings (in this case, 8 or more sessions) will automatically fail the course. On the other hand, three points will be added to your semester average if you have perfect attendance; two points will be added if you have one absence; one point will be added if you have two absences (for purposes of earning this extra credit, there are no "excused absences"). If you arrive late for class, you will be recorded absent unless you have the roll changed after class. Please avoid late arrivals and early departures -- they are disruptive.  Preparation and participation may also be taken into account when course grades are determined.

Tentative Course Schedule
(Please read the required assignments before each class)

First Day

Methodology and Philosophy of Science-August 28

Recommended: 
Ancient and Medieval-- Sepember 2 and 4
aristotle
    Exodus 20:8-11, 22:12, and 23:10-11; Leviticus 25:1-55; Numbers 27:1-11; Deuteronomy 15:1-15 and 23:19-20; II Kings 6:25 and 7:1; Ecclesiastes 4:8 and 5:18; Matthew 6:28-34 and 25:14-30; Luke 6:34-35 and 10:38-41; Acts 4:32-37; and II Thessalonians 3:7-12.
Recommended: 
Mercantilism--September 9 and 11 
Recommended:
Quesnay and the Physiocrats--September 16 and 18
Recommended:

Adam Smith--September 23, 25, and 30

Recommended:

FIRST EXAMINATION--OCTOBER 2  

Thomas Malthus--October 7

Recommended:
David Ricardo--October 9, 14, and 16 
Recommended:
John Stuart Mill--October 21, 23, 28 
Recommended:
SECOND EXAMINATION--OCTOBER 30

Karl Marx--November 4, 6, and 11

Recommended:
 

Alfred Marshall and Marginalism--November 13, 18, and 20

Recommended:
John Maynard Keynes--November 25 and December 2 (11/27 is Thanksgiving Holiday)
  • Buchholz, Chapter 9.
  • Keynes (full text),   Selections,  pp. v-viii, 3-22, 27-28, 165-172, 245-54, 372-84.
Recommended:
Friedman and Monetarism-- December 4


THIRD EXAMINATION--DECEMBER 15, 2:00-5:00 PM

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