Other Courses

Unlike survey courses, these courses focus on a particular period or figure or topic in the history of economics.


Scope and Limits of the Economic Analysis of Public Policy, Clément Carbonnier and Yann Giraud, SciencesPo, Summer 2019

Course examines the role of economists in political decision making. Readings include Michael Bernstein's Perilous Progress: Economists and Public Purpose in Twentieth-Century America (Princeton University Press, 2004).

Gender and Economics, Erich Pinzón-Fuchs, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Spring 2019

This is an upper-level undergraduate course that studies the way in which gender representations, stereotyping, and inequalities affect the production of economic knowledge. Readings include Scott's (1986; 2008) and Jordanova's (1993) seminal papers, Fausto-Sterling's Myth of Gender (Basic Books, 1992), Fine's Delusion of Gender (W.W. Norton, 2010) Nelson and Ferber's Beyond Economic Man (The University of Chicago Press, 1993), Madden and Dimand's Routledge Handbook of the History of Women’s Economic Thought (Routledge, 2008), Ferber and Nelson's Feminist Economics Today (University of Cihcago Press, 2003), and Longino's (1997), Nelson's (1993; 2010; 2014), Rossiter's (1993), Haraway's (1988), Harding's (1993), and Fox Keller's (1989) seminal papers.

History of Economic Thought, Mauro Boianovsky, University of Brasilia, Spring 2019

Graduate course on the history of economic thought. Syllabus is in Portuguese. Readings include Mark Blaug's Methodology of Economics (Cambridge University Press, 1992), Craufurd Goodwin's entry on the history of economic thought in the New Palgrave (2008), and Robert Ekelund and Robert Hebert's History of Economic Theory and Method (McGraw-Hill, 1990).

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History of Macroeconomics, Kevin Hoover, Duke University, Fall 2018

Course examines how the macroeconomics taught in modern textbooks and used to advise policymakers was developed, in part, in response to the fascinating social-scientific question, How does the economy really work?, and, in part, in response to a series of economic challenges.

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Philosophy and Methodology of Economics, Kevin Hoover, Duke University, Fall 2018

An introduction to conceptual and methodological issues raised in modern economics. Readings include Marcel Boumans and John Davis, Economic Methodology: Understanding Economics as a Science (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). 

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History of Economic Thought II, Pete Boettke, George Mason University, Fall 2016

Explores the socialist calculation debate. Readings range from Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk to Alvin Roth, plus the secondary literature. Assignments include three short essays and a research paper.

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History of Economic Thought II, Pete Boettke, George Mason University, Fall 2015

Focuses on the history of price theory throughout the 20th century and into the 21st. Readings consist of books by Marshall, Wicksteed, Knight, and Stigler, among others.  

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Market and Government in the History of Economic Thought, Malcolm Rutherford, University of Victoria, 2014

This course deals with views of capitalism from Adam Smith to the present day, focusing on the respective roles of business enterprise, markets, and government. Students are expected to keep reading notes and hand them in as part of the grade; they also write two short essays. Among the readings are the following: The Wealth of Nations (Adam Smith); The Communist Manifesto (Karl Marx); The Theory of Business Enterprise (Thorstein Veblen); Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy (Joseph Schumpeter); The Road to Serfdom (Friedrich Hayek); Capitalism and Freedom (Milton Friedman); and The Predator State (James Galbraith). The syllabus contains links to readings that are available online.

Keynes in Context, E. Roy Weintraub, Duke University, Spring 2013

Examines the 20th-century British economist John Maynard Keynes in various contexts: late Victorian Cambridge, the Bloomsbury group, G. E. Moore and the Apostles, and the Bretton Woods negotiations, among others. Readings consist of Keynes's works, including the General Theory, and some of Skidelsky's biographies of Keynes. Short writing assignments, a midterm paper, and a final paper. Class meets twice a week and is devoted to discussions of assigned readings.

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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).  

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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.

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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.

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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.

Evolution of Economic Thought, Maria Pia Paganelli, Trinity University, 2011

This course is organized thematically rather than chronologically. It considers such topics as the influence of commerce, cooperation, money, and trade. Most readings center around classical figures, especially Adam Smith, although several present-day sources are read as well.

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Economic Science Studies, E. Roy Weintraub, Duke University, Spring 2011

Course uses the techniques and materials of science studies to understand modern economic practices. Readings are from Mario Bagioli's Science Studies Reader, supplemented with additional readings. Topics include facts and theories, belief and evidence, scientific communities, and constructing scientific truth, among others.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Development of Modern Economics, E. Roy Weintraub, Duke University, Fall 2010

Focuses on the evolution of economics in the twentieth century, with particular attention on the ways in which difference practices in the first part of the century were continued or abandoned to create what passes today for mainstream economic practice. Class project is the construction of a serious intellectual biography of Martin Bronfenbrenner. Topics include historiography, English economic thought, the development of American economics, Keynes and revolution, economics and World War II, neoliberalism, and several others.

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Politics of Economics, Tiago Mata, University of Amsterdam, Fall 2009

Surveys and evaluates different understandings of the "politics of economics." How have economists and their intellectual products become influential in our democracies? Readings are recent--most are from the 2000s--and are from an interdisciplinary range of writers and thinkers. Course themes include war, freedom, and identity.

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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.

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History of Modern Macroeconomics: From Keynes to the Present, Kevin D. Hoover, Duke University, Spring 2008

Considers the key developments in macroeconomics from the 1930s to the 1980s. Topics include the theory of unemployment and the Great Depression, growth theory and business cycle modeling, the tradeoff bewteen inflation and unemployment, the debate over monetarism, and the New Classical Macroeconomics. Syllabus concludes with a short list of possible term paper topics.

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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.

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The Austrian School, Peter 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.

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