History of Economic Thought
TR 12:30-1:45pm, Foster 226
Gardner Office Hours/Location:
and by appointment,
McBride Center, Foster 230.05
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.
- Buchholz, Todd G. New Ideas from Dead Economists: An
Introduction to Modern Economic Thought. Revised Edition,
The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money
, Prometheus Books, 1997 [originally published in 1935].
Principles of Economics. 8th Edition.
Prometheus Books, 1997 [1st edition originally published in
1890; 8th edition in 1920].
John Stuart. Principles of Political Economy .
7th edition, Books II, III, IV and V and Chapters on Socialism.
Oxford University Press, 1994 [1st edition originally published
in 1848; 7th edition in 1871].
An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of
originally published in 1776. NOTE: In the
course schedule below, readings from Smith are identified by
Book, Chapter, and Paragraph(s). For example, IV.2.23-31 refers
to Book 4, Chapter 2, Paragraphs 23-31. In the online version
and in the Liberty Fund edition, the paragraphs are numbered in
the text, but in some other editions they are not.
- Tucker, Robert C., editor. The Marx-Engels Reader.
2nd. Edition. Norton, 1978 [selections originally published
between 1843 and 1894].
Recommended (not required) Web Texts
Recommended (not required) Supplementary Texts/Books
Available for Purchase
John Kenneth. Economics in Perspective: A Critical
Robert. The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times And
Ideas Of The Great Economic Thinkers, 1953/1999.
Alessandro. A Brief History of Economic Thought,
Bo, and others. A Short History of Economic Thought,
William Henry. The Growth of Economic Thought, 1991
David. Economic Principles: The Masters and Mavericks of
Modern Economics, 1993.
Linda. What Would the Great Economists Do?: How Twelve
Brilliant Minds Would Solve Today's Biggest Problems,
Related Web Resources
Semester grades will be based on your performance on three
examinations, each accounting for one-third of the course
grade. Unless you are told otherwise, each test will
include a combination of multiple choice and essay questions.
Class preparation and participation may also be taken into
account when course grades are determined.
If you have a "comparative advantage" in research and writing,
or if there is a particular topic you would like to explore in
depth, you may wish to write an optional term paper for this
course. In this case, the term paper and each of the three
examinations will be worth 25%. If
you wish to pursue this option, you will need to discuss it
with me very soon, and present a one-page prospectus by
September 23. The paper will be due no later than
November 30. Look
here for guidelines on writing this optional term paper.
See other important information under Attendance, below.
Optional Video Production: Another skill that is
growing more valuable and accessible is video production. If you
would like have an opportunity to use and strengthen your skills
in this area, you can produce a 5-10 minute video that explores
a topic or concept from this course in an engaging way, and
present it as an optional course
assignment. In this case, the grade for the course will be
spread evenly across the examinations and your grade on the
video. If you wish to pursue this option, turn in a topic
statement and a preliminary bibliography by September 23.
The finished video is due November 30, and should be uploaded to
YouTube or Vimeo, and a link should be sent to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guidelines for production and evaluation
of the video may be found here.
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.
- 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"
- 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.
If we have problems of this kind, I may
be forced to outlaw all computer use during our classes.
- 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
Tentative Course Schedule
(Please read the required assignments before each
First Day, Why History of Economic Thought? -August
Methodology and Philosophy of Science-August
- Lecture Notes
and Inductive Thinking"
Jones, "Philosophy of Science"
"The Methodology of Positive Economics," 1953
"Assumptions in Economic Theory, The American Economic
Review, Vol. 53, No. 2, May, 1963
"Discussion," The American Economic Review, Vol. 53, No.
2, May, 1963, pp. 231-234.
"Professor Samuelson on Theory and Realism," The American
Economic Review, Vol. 54, No. 5, Sep., 1964.
Samuelson, "Theory and Realism: A Reply," The American
Economic Review, Vol. 54, No. 5, Sep., 1964.
Soros, "The Capitalist Threat," Atlantic Monthly, February
Ancient and Medieval-- August 31 and
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
- Landreth/Colander, Chapter 2
Aquinas, Summa Theologica “The
Second Part of the Second Part,” questions 32 “Of
Almsdeeds,” 77 “Sins
Committed in Buying and Selling,” and 78 “Sins
Committed in Loans.”
Politics --Book I, Chapters 4, 5, 9, and 10;
Book II, Chapters 4 and 5; Book VII, Chapters 4 and 9.
Mercantilism--September 7 and 9
- Landreth/Colander, pp. 45-59
Mun, England's Treasure by Foreign Trade, 1664 (In
Abbott, Vol. 1, pp. 6-27).
Hume, Essays Moral, Political, and Literary, 1742
Cantillon, An Essay on Commerce in General, 1755
Quesnay and the Physiocrats--September
14 and 16
Adam Smith--September 21, 23, and 28
FIRST EXAMINATION--SEPTEMBER 30
Thomas Malthus--October 5
David Ricardo--October 7,
12, and 14
Principles of Political Economy and Taxation, 1817
- Barber, Chapter 3.
- Landreth/Colander, pp. 113-150.
The Corn Laws, 1814
Malthus, Grounds for an Opinion on the Policy of
Restricting the Importation of Foreign Corn, 1815
Malthus, The Nature of Rent, 1815
John Stuart Mill--October 19, 21, and
- Class Notes 10/19
- Class Notes 10/21
- Class Notes 10/26
- Buchholz, Chapter 5.
Principles of Morals and Legislation, 1823
(Chapters 1 and 4).
, Book II, Chapter 1 (pp. 5-24); Book IV, Chapters 6 and
7 (pp. 124-158); Book V, Chapters 1, 2, and 11 (pp.
159-189 and 324-367); and Chapters on Socialism, pp.
379-386, 413-423, and 431-436.
SECOND EXAMINATION--OCTOBER 28
Karl Marx--November 2 and 4
- Class Notes, 11/2
- Class Notes, 11/4
- Buchholz, Chapter 6.
- Tucker, pp. 203-217, 336-340, 355-358, 436-438,
485, 490-491, 522-524, 529-531, 538, 698-701, 716-717.
Neoclassicals and Austrians--November
9 and 11
Alfred Marshall and Leon Walras--November
16 and 18
- Class Notes, November 16
Notes, November 18
, 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 7
- Barber, Chapter 6.
- Landreth/Colander, Chapters 10 and 11
Thanksgiving Holidays - November 22-26
John Maynard Keynes--November 30 and
December 2, OPTIONAL TERM PAPER OR VIDEO DUE
- Barber, Chapter 8.
- Landreth/Colander, Chapter 15
Austrians, Friedman, and The Chicago School--
Notes, December 7
- Buchholz, Chapter 10.
"A Theoretical Framework for Monetary Analysis ,"
The Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 78, No. 2.
(Mar. - Apr., 1970), pp. 193-238.
Milton. "Nobel Lecture: Inflation and Unemployment
," The Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 85,
No. 3. (Jun., 1977), pp. 451-472.
- Landreth/Colander, pp. 413-415 and 440-441
THIRD EXAMINATION--DECEMBER 16, 9:00-11:00 AM
Throughout the pandemic, Baylor’s
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We all want to return to a normal
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Code at: http://www.baylor.edu/honorcode/
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encourage you to visit the University Writing Center (UWC) this semester and get feedback on your writing for this
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