History of Economic Thought
DatesPeriod 4 - Feb 27, 2023 to Apr 21, 2023
This course offers a short introduction to the history of some important ideas in microeconomics, macroeconomics and empirical methods. A frequent theme will be that the writings of earlier generations of economists were frequently much less naïve than they are often made out to be and, in some cases, economists held views diametrically opposed to those with which they are often associated. For example, Adam Smith did not advocate the unchecked pursuit of self-interest, Maynard Keynes did not attribute unemployment to sticky wages, and Keynesian economists of the 1950s and 1960s well understood the potential for high demand to create accelerating inflation.
Sessions will involve a mixture of lecturing and discussion, and students will be expected to do a limited amount of reading before classes and to participate in discussions. One reason for this is so that students can turn the discussion to topics that interest them. More extensive reading will then be required for assignments, related to their own interest, which in many cases means students’ students’ research interests; the topics for these are worked out in consultation with the teacher.
The coverage can vary according to student demand, but topics that could be covered as part of the core include: the history of general equilibrium theory, game theory and welfare economics; the Keynesian revolution and monetarism; the history of the Phillips curve and DSGE modeling; the history of econometrics and empirical methods.
A more directed reading syllabus and reading list will be provided via Canvas a month or two before the course begins.