Other Courses

Unlike survey courses, these courses focus on a particular period or figure or topic in the history of economics. The courses are listed in alphabetical order by the last name of the professor.

History of Economic Thought: The Austrian School, Peter J. Boettke, George Mason University, 1994.

Survey of major thinkers associated with the Austrian movement. Course intended for graduate students. Begins with Menger's Principles of Economics then covers the Methodenstreit, capital theory debates, Keynes-Hayek debates over monetary theory and the trade cycle, and the socialist calculation debate of the 1930s and 1940s. Seventeen-page syllabus with an extensive reading list, four essay assignments, and a twelve-question final exam.

Austrian Theory of the Market Process (Pt. 2), Peter J. Boettke, George Mason University, Spring 2000

Second part of a year-long course on the history of Austrian economics. Explores the philosophical and analytical puzzles that have occupied economists working in the Austrian tradition and "reconstructs" some of the major debates in which the Austrians were engaged. Required reading consists of Mises's Human Action, Hayek's Individualism and Economic Order, and Boettke's Elgar Companion to Austrian Economics.

Hayek and the Austrian Tradition, Bruce Caldwell, Duke University, Spring 2011

Course examines the Austrian tradition in economics, with special attention to the contributions of Hayek. Readings includes portions of Menger's Principles and Investigations, Hayek's Monetary Theory and the Trade Cycle and Individualism and Economic Order, and Mises's Human Action, among others. Syllabus contains a list of possible paper topics.

Freedom and Markets: The Clash of Economic Ideas, Bruce Caldwell, Duke University, Fall 2011

Course examines a number of classic economic works and considers their relationship to the wider society. Begins with the mercantilists and ends with Hayek. This class was designed for first-year students who were not necessarily expected to have had any economics before. The course could also be used as a survey course.

Appraising Economics, Bruce Caldwell, UNC Greensboro, Spring 2008

Course on the methodology of economics. Topics include Friedman's methological essay, Popper and falsificationism, McCloskey and rhetoric, empirical work in economics, and economists and policy, among others. Required text is Caldwell's Hayek's Challenge, supplemented with many other readings.

Recent History of Economics, John B. Davis, University of Amsterdam, 2010-11

Course examines the ongoing work of living economists. Course topics include economics imperialism, behavioral economics and neuroeconomics, and experimental economics, as well as well-being and happiness.

Economics and the Nobel Prize, Sherry Forbes, Sweet Briar College, Fall 2012

This course examines the development of modern economics through the contributions of the Nobel Prize winners, and how the ideas of Nobel Prize winners  influenced (and continue to influence) everyday life and how we think about the "big ideas" of today.  A unifying theme of the course revolves around considering how the Nobel laureates would answer the questions "Is economics a science?" and "What is the proper role of the government in the economy?"  The course is designed as a seminar that meets once a week, and the assignment structure is ideal for smaller classes (6-15 students).  

Economics in the Bloomsbury Group, Craufurd Goodwin, Duke University, Fall 2010

With a focus on the Bloomsbury group, among whose members were John Maynard Keynes and Virginia Woolf, this course encourages students to reflect on the discipline of economics itself. What are its values? What questions does it address? How does it operate and interact with other disciplines? Syllabus includes an annotated list of members of the Bloomsbury group and detailed instructions for writing assignments. Readings consist of works by members of the Bloomsbury group.

Uses of Economics, Craufurd Goodwin, Duke University, Spring 2011

This course engages the history of economics in that it identifies "styles" of doing economics that have historical roots, from the philosophical/theological style of Aristotle and Aquinas to the modern core found in textbooks such as that by Mas-Colell, Whinston, and Green. The course examines different segments of society--the media, government, the economics discipline itself, among others--and observes how economics is used in those segments and to what extent one or more of the styles are present. The syllabus contains detailed instructions for the writing assignments, including a long list of prompts designed to help students select an appropriate paper topic.

Philosophy and Methodology of Economics, Kevin D. Hoover, Duke University, Spring 2010

This course, which is taught in a seminar format, examines what economists do when the investigate the economy. Primary-source readings are from John Stuart Mill, John Neville Keynes, and Milton Friedman, as well as Karl Popper, Imre Lakatos, and Thomas Kuhn. Topics include classical contributions to economic methdology, Friedman and positive economics, and Popper and falsificationism. Syllabus includes a list of prompts for papers and a list of secondary readings.