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Viewing: ECONOM 4320W mandyd : History of Economic Thought

Last approved: Mon, 23 Jan 2017 22:46:24 GMT

Last edit: Mon, 23 Jan 2017 22:46:17 GMT

Proposal Type

Writing Intensive

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Term for Proposal

Fall 2017

Course Catalog Information

Economics (ECONOM)
History of Economic Thought
Origins of modern economic thought in the context of social and intellectual environment of the time in which they originated, their contribution to their period and to modern thought.
A-F (allow student to choose S/U option)
(ECONOM 1014 or ECONOM 1024) and ECONOM 1015, or ECONOM 1051.

Instructor Information

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Tenured Professor
228 Professional Building

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Writing Intensive Course Information

Professor Mueser and I followed the catalog description quite closely during the fall 2015 and fall 2016 semester and still feel that the topical coverage is about right, so we plan to do so again in fall 2017. It is: Origins of modern economic thought in the context of social and intellectual environment of the time in which they originated, their contribution to their period and to modern thought. This is not part of a multi-course sequence.
The topics list will change slightly from fall 2016 Here is an edited version that we plan to use for fall 2017 ("M&S" refers to Madema, Steven G. and Warren J. Samuels. The History of Economic Thought, A Reader (second ed. 2013), London: Routledge. We plan to discontinue use of Robert L. Heilbroner's The Worldly Philosophers (seventh ed. 1999), New York: Touchstone; and replace it with readings from Ekelund and Hebert's A History of Economic Theory and Method (sixth ed. 2014), Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press. We do not yet have the specific sections from this new book identified. Here are the planned topics based on M&S. August 25 - 27. Introduction (M&S pp. 1-4; H pp. 13-17). Earliest roots: Private property, reciprocity in exchange, the "just price," usury. Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics (M&S pp. 16-17), Aquinas's Summa Theologica (M&S pp. 18-34). September 1 - 3. Mercantilism: Emergence of (national) wealth acquisition as a desirable objective (H pp. 18-41). Mun's England's Treasure by Foreign Trade (M&S pp. 35-50), Locke's Of Civil Government and Some Considerations of the Consequences of the Lowering of Interest, and Raising the Value of Money (M&S pp. 64-85). September 8 - 10. Physiocracy: Beginnings of economics as a science. Quesnay's Tableu Economique (M&S pp. 106-113), Turgot's Reflections on the Formation and Distribution of Wealth (M&S pp. 114-130). September 15 & 17. Classicism: Laissez faire, the economy as a whole, and the harmony of interests. Hume's Of Money, Of Interest, and Of the Balance of Trade (M&S pp. 146-167). September 22 - 24. Adam Smith: Classical economics defined (H pp. 42-74). An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (M&S pp. 168-196; Book I, Chapter 10 posted on Blackboard). September 29 - October 1. Malthus: Overpopulation and disequilibrium (H pp. 75-104). An Essay on the Principle of Population (M&S pp. 210-225). October 6 - 8. Ricardo: Distribution rather than production; rent and the labor theory of value. On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation (M&S pp. 268-301). October 13 -15. J. S. Mill: Modified harmonious system; beginnings of socialism (H pp. 105-135). Principles of Political Economy (M&S pp. 348-385). October 20 - 22. Karl Marx: Contradictions of capitalism and inevitability of communism (H pp. 136-169). Das Kapital (M&S pp. 387-428). Jonathan Sperber's presentation "Marx the Economist" (posted on Blackboard). October 27 - 29. Marginalism: Optimal decision-making defined (H pp. 170-212). Jevons's The Theory of Political Economy (M&S pp. 429-462). November 3 - 5. General equilibrium: Walras' Elements of Pure Economics (M&S pp. 483-499). November 10 - 12. Supply and demand: Marshall's Principles of Economics (M&S pp. 526-547), Shove's The Place of Marshall's Principles' in the Development of Economic Theory (posted on Blackboard). November 17 - 19. Institutionalism: A resurgence of sociology and ethics in economics (H pp. 213-247). Veblen's The Theory of the Leisure Class (M&S pp. 641-680). December 1 - 3. Disequilibrium, again: Keynes (H pp. 248-287), The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (M&S pp. 618-639). December 8 - 10. Monetary Economics: Fischer's The Purchasing Power of Money and its Relation to Credit Interest and Crises (M&S pp. 590-617), Friedman's The Role of Monetary Policy (M&S pp. 745-758).
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Writing Intensive Assignments

All assignments
Ten 2-page essays, roughly one each week except weeks when a longer "compare and contrast" paper is due. The essays are on the historical writings covered each week. Purpose is to get students to assimilate the viewpoints of the authors and connect them to the times as well as to modern thought. These will not be revised, but will be evaluated by Professors Mandy and Mueser with significant comments designed to guide students toward improvement on subsequent papers. Two 5-page "compare and contrast" papers that require integration of the readings studied over the previous few weeks. These may require revision and integration of some of the writing in the relevant 2-page essays. These will be evaluated by Professors Mandy and Mueser with significant comments designed to guide students toward improvement on subsequent papers. A final 10-page "compare and contrast" paper that will explicitly require rewriting and integration of one of the 5-page papers and possibly some of the 2-page essays. These will be evaluated by Professors Mandy and Mueser.
Length of assignment:
David Mandy & Peter Mueser
David Mandy & Peter Mueser

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Writing Intensive Teaching

Peer review
Historical economic writings are wide open to varying interpretations and students will be given latitude to provide their own provided it is well thought-out. For example, some people think Marx's labor theory of value is fundamental and as relevant today as it was in the mid-nineteenth century. Others think Marx totally missed the importance of thinking about other factors of production independent from the labor embodied in them. Others think the labor theory is central but that Ricardo espoused it better than Marx. These are all defensible positions. Similar comparisons and contrasts can be made between Marshall and Walras, Smith and the mercantilists, Keynes and the neoclassicists, etc.
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Education and Social Sciences


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Additional Comments

Patricia Luckenotte (luckenottep) (Mon, 23 Jan 2017 22:46:17 GMT): I have added ECONOM 4320W, 01 to the Fall 2017 Schedule of Classes and cancelled the regular section of ECONOM 4320, 01 for Fall 2017.
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