The Summer Institute

Summer Institute on the History of Economics written above tree illustration

Why do we do economics the way we do? How did we get here? We have all heard the names of Adam Smith, Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes and Friedrich Hayek, but what did they really say, think, and do?

The Duke Summer Institute on the History of Economics has convened annually since 2010 to answer those sorts of questions and more. Though the format has varied over the years, the Summer Institute always involves bringing top faculty in the field together with graduate students selected from a diverse pool of national and international applicants to explore various aspects of the history of economics. 

Past emphases have included a history of the concept of market failure, an examination of the Chicago School of economics from a variety of quite different perspectives, a history of macroeconomics, and an exploration of the contributions of two major figures in 20th century economics, Paul Samuelson and Friedrich Hayek. 

Recently the Institute format has altered between a nine day intensive review of the history of economics, with the goal of providing attendees with the tools to teach their own undergraduate course, and shorter research-oriented Institutes, where attendees present papers before a panel of specialists which are then work-shopped by the group.

There is a competitive application procedure and successful candidates will be provided with complimentary on campus housing and a travel stipend. 

Please take a look at past Summer Institute programs to get an idea of topics covered and faculty featured.