Economics 5343
Seminar: History of Economic Thought

Steve Gardner
Fall 2017

Class Time/Location:
MW 1:00-2:15pm, Foster 303

Gardner Office Hours/Location:
MW 10:30am-12:00pm
T 2:30-4:00pm
F 1:00-2:30
and by appointment,
McBride Center, Foster 230.05

Course Objectives
A student who successfully completes this course should:
  • understand the historical continuities and interruptions in the themes and methods of economics that have been explored since the days of Moses and Aristotle.
  • understand the intellectual, cultural, and material forces that have shaped the development of economics.
  • be able to locate and interpret original classic texts 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 major schools of economic thought (Mercantilists, Physiocrats, Classicals, Marxists, Keynesians, Monetarists, Austrians, etc.), and gain familiarity with their major contributors.
  • apply theories and concepts from the course to practical issues in economic analysis and policy.
Required Texts

Recommended Web Texts

Related Web Sites


Semester grades will be based on your performance on three examinations and either a term paper or a video production, each accounting for one-fourth of the course grade. Your grade may also be affected by your preparation for class and participation in class discussions. 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 and here for video guidelines.  You will need to present a brief prospectus by September 20, and the finished paper or video will be due no later than November 27. See other important information under Attendance, below.

Semester grade averages will be converted into letter grades according to the following scale: A 91-100; A- 89-90; B+ 87-88; B 81-86; B- 79-80; C+ 77-78; C 71-76; C- 69-70; D+ 67-68; D 61-66; D- 59-60; F below 59.


In keeping with University and Business School Policy, 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. 

Academic Success

Like other members of the faculty and staff, I want to be sure that you have every opportunity to have a successful experience at Baylor. If you have an unexplained pattern of absences or if you seem to be struggling in the course, I will submit an Academic Progress Report to the Success Center. I will work to help you get the support that you need, and I can assist you in finding the resources you need beyond my course. Familiarize yourself with the services provived by the Paul L. Foster Success Center in Sid Richardson or by going to: http://www.baylor.edu/successcenter/. Even if you don’t need help, you can get involved by tutoring other students in the future or by telling a hall mate how and where to get help. 

Classroom Conduct

  • Please make every effort to arrive on time and avoid leaving early. If you must leave early, please tell me before class begins. For more information on this subject, see "Attendance" below.
  • Please switch off cell phones before class begins.
  • Please give your full attention during class. Texting, e-mailing, web surfing, and side conversations are disrespectful and distracting. Please do not make it necessary for me to confront you about distracting behavior.
  • Our classes will be more interesting if we have broad and lively discussions.  Please participate, but avoid monopolizing the discussion. Respect alternative points of view and help me to "draw out" shy class members.
  • With the exception of bottled water, we are not allowed to have food or drinks in the Foster classrooms.
  • For additional information on classroom conduct, see corresponding section of the Student Handbook .

Title IX

  • Baylor University does not discriminate on the basis of sex or gender in any of its education or employment programs and activities, and it does not tolerate discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex or gender. If you or someone you know would like help related to an experience involving sexual or gender-based harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, stalking, intimate partner violence, or retaliation for reporting one of these type of prohibited conduct, please contact the Title IX Office at (254)710-8454, or contact our Title IX coordinator, Kristan_Tucker@baylor.edu, or report online at www.baylor.edu/titleix.
  • The Title IX office understands the sensitive nature of these situations and can provide information about available on- and off-campus resources, such as counseling and psychological services, medical treatment, academic support, university housing, and other forms of assistance that may be available. Staff members at the office can also explain your rights and procedural options if you contact the Title IX Office. You will not be required to share your experience. If you or someone you know feels unsafe or may be in imminent danger, please call the Baylor Police Department (254-710-2222) or Waco Police Department (9-1-1) immediately. For more information on the Title IX Office, the Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Interpersonal Violence policy, reporting, and resources available, please visit the website provided above.

Military Student Advisory

Veterans and active duty military personnel are welcomed and encouraged to communicate, in advance if possible, any special circumstances (e.g., upcoming deployment, drill requirements, disability accommodations). You are also encouraged to visit the VETS Program Office with any questions at (254) 710-7264. 

Students Needing Accommodations

Any student who needs academic accommodations related to a documented disability should inform me immediately at the beginning of the semester. You are required to obtain appropriate documentation and information regarding accommodations from the Office of Access and Learning Accommodation (OALA). Contact Information: (254) 710-3605 - Paul L. Foster Success Center, 1st floor on the East Wing of Sid Richardson. 

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

First Day, Why History of Economic Thought? -August 21


Methodology and Philosophy of Science-August 23

Ancient and Medieval-- August 28 and 30
    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.
Mercantilism--September 6 and 11 (September 4 is a Labor Day Holiday)
Quesnay and the Physiocrats--September 13 and 18

Adam Smith--September 20, 25, and 27



Thomas Malthus--October 4 and 9

David Ricardo--October 11, 16, and 18 
John Stuart Mill--October 23, 25, 30 

Karl Marx--November 6 and 8


Neoclassicals and Austrians--November 13



Alfred Marshall Leon Walras--November 15 and 20

  • Class Notes    
  • Marshall , Prefaces; Book I, Chapters 1 and 4; Book II, Chapter 3, §1; Book III, Chapters 3, 4, and 6; and Book V, Chapters 3, 5, 12, and 13.
  • Buchholz, Chapter
  • Barber, Chapter 6.
  • Landreth/Colander, Chapters 10 and 11
John Maynard Keynes--November 27 and 29 TERM PAPER OR VIDEO DUE (27th)
  • Buchholz, Chapter 9.
  • Keynes (full text),   Selections,  pp. v-viii, 3-22, 27-28, 165-172, 245-54, 372-84.
  • Barber, Chapter 8.
  • Landreth/Colander, Chapter 15
Friedman and Monetarism-- December 4


  • Landreth/Colander, pp. 413-415 and 440-441


home  résumé  courses  resources
hankamer school of business 
baylor university  baylor economics