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A History of Economic Theory

Classic Contributions, 1720-1980

Jürg Niehans

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A History of Economic Theory offers a comprehensive account of the builders and building blocks of modern mainstream economics. Jurg Niehans shows how the analytical tools used by economists have evolved from the eighteenth century to the present. Niehans first surveys the development of classical economics from the scholastic and mercantilist traditions to Marx. He then follows the progress of marginalist economics from Thunen to Fischer. In the book's final section, he describes economic theory in the model-building era from Pigou and Keynes to Rational Expectations.

Building his story around…

A History of Economic Theory offers a comprehensive account of the builders and building blocks of modern mainstream economics. Jurg Niehans shows how the analytical tools used by economists have evolved from the eighteenth century to the present. Niehans first surveys the development of classical economics from the scholastic and mercantilist traditions to Marx. He then follows the progress of marginalist economics from Thunen to Fischer. In the book's final section, he describes economic theory in the model-building era from Pigou and Keynes to Rational Expectations.

Building his story around the economists themselves, Niehans presents a pantheon of economic theory. It includes the famous from Smith and Riccardo to Samuelson and Friedman, as well as detailed discussions of lesser-known figures who have nevertheless made classic contributions. For each theorist Niehans offers a biographical sketch followed by a description, interpretation, and critical assessment of his work. With the current revival of interest in the history of economics, economists will find A History of Economic Theory not only a rich source of information but also a challenging analysis of the dynamics of scientific progress.

Reviews

Reviews

Well organized. Its chapters on monetary topics and marginalist writers are balanced and informative. Many economists neglected in other histories are here given their due... As a convenient desk reference, this book has much to offer.

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Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
592
ISBN
9780801849763
Author Bio
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Jürg Niehans

Jürg Niehans, professor of political economy at The Johns Hopkins University from 1966 to 1977, is currently professor of economics at the University of Bern, Switzerland. His works have appeared in many distinguished European and American journals, including the American Economic Review, the Journals of Money, Credit, and Banking, the Journals of International Economics, and the Journal of...