Distance Learning






By Plimun Web Design

History of economic thought

Syllabus for pre-PhD Distance learning course on Economics

HISTORY OF ECONOMICS THOUGHT

Margarita Yeghiazaryan, PhD, Associate Professor
Yerevan State University, Distance Learning Laboratory

1. Course module description
The course module comprises the entire history of the origins and the further development of economic studies and economic theories. The material presents the temporal sequence of economic development from ancient times to these days. A relatively bigger part is devoted to current trends and the major theories originally developed in the nineteenth century, which are considered to be of primary importance. Basically, the course module combines the so-called “logical” and “historical” trends.

2. Objectives of the course module

2.1 To introduce students with the different economic thoughts.
2.2 To acquaint the students with the overall image of economic trends having developed through the history of mankind.
2.3 To understand the correlation of different economic thoughts and schools.
2.4 To help students understand and assume the precise definition of modern economics.

3. Assessment
Since this is a distance-learning course, assessment will be based only on students’ written work.

  • Weekly written essays – 60%
  • Final essay - 40%

4. Course module program

Class 1  Adam Smith The Wealth of Nations
- Society and an “the invisible hand”.
- Economic growth.
- Wealth of Nations.

Readings:

  1. M. Blaug, The Methodology of Economics: Or, How Economists Explain (Cambridge Surveys of Economic Literature) Cambridge 1990.
  2. Gailbraith John K, A History of Economics: The Past and Present, London, 2000.
  3. Smith, A., 1976, The Wealth of Nations edited by R.H. Campbell and A.S. Skinner, The Glasgow edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith.
  4. M. Blaug, Economic Theory in Retrospect, first edition 1962, 5th revised edition 1997.

Assignment 1:
Please, answer the following questions (up to 4 pages):

  • Explain main principles of methodology of Adam Smith’s works.
  • Explain the ideas of “laissez fair” and “the invisible hand”.
  • Describe A. Smith’s labour theory of wealth.

Class 2  Marx on Capitalizm
- Formation theory of social economic development.
- Explanation of evolution and revolutionary principles of Marxian theory.
- Marx’s labour theory of wealth.
- Explanation of the possibility of Capitalism.
- The laws of motion.

Readings:

  1. M. Blaug, The Methodology of Economics: Or, How Economists Explain (Cambridge Surveys of Economic Literature) Cambridge 1990.
  2. Gailbraith John K, A History of Economics: The Past and Present, London, 2000.
  3. Marx, Capital, Volume I, II, III, IV.
  4. M. Blaug, Economic Theory in Retrospect, first edition 1962, 5th revised edition 1997.

Assignment 2:
Please, answer the following questions (up to 4 pages):

  • Explain the principles of primitive accumulation of capital and destiny of capitalism.
  • Describe and explain the idea of law of motion.
  • Give main principles of Marx’s labour theory.

Class 3 Marginalism theory
- Main principles of marginalism theory.
- Main points of marginalism theory.
- Gossen’s laws.
- Marginalism theory of value.
- Evolution of theory of marginalism.

Readings:

  1. M. Blaug, The Methodology of Economics: Or, How Economists Explain (Cambridge Surveys of Economic Literature) Cambridge 1990.
  2. Gailbraith John K, A History of Economics: The Past and Present, London, 2000.
  3. M. Blaug, Economic Theory in Retrospect, first edition 1962, 5th revised edition 1997.

Assignment 3:
Please, answer the following questions (up to 4 pages):

  • What is marginalism?
  • Describe the main points in marginalist theory.
  • Explain Gossen’s first and second laws. 

Class 4  German historical school
- Methodological Principles of the Historical School.
- View of the German Historical School.

- The War of Methods.
- Evolution of German historical school.

Readings:

  1. M. Blaug, The Methodology of Economics: Or, How Economists Explain (Cambridge Surveys of Economic Literature) Cambridge 1990.
  2. Gailbraith John K, A History of Economics: The Past and Present, London, 2000.
  3. M. Blaug, Economic Theory in Retrospect, first edition 1962, 5th revised edition 1997.

Assignment 4:
Please, answer the following questions (up to 4 pages):

  • Describe methodology features of German historical school.
  • Explain development features and stages of German historical school.
  • Explain the role of national interest in German historical school. 

Class 5  Institutional Economics 
- Institutionalism as an integral of different fields of science.
- Motivation of economic action.
- Institutional aspect of Economics.
- Four relations of possible conflict of interest.
- The Keynesian revolution.

Readings:

  1. M. Blaug, The Methodology of Economics: Or, How Economists Explain (Cambridge Surveys of Economic Literature) Cambridge 1990.
  2. Gailbraith John K, A History of Economics: The Past and Present, London, 2000.
  3. M. Blaug, Economic Theory in Retrospect, first edition 1962, 5th revised edition 1997.
  4. Geoffrey M. Hodgson The Evolution of Institutional Economics Agency, structure and Darwinism in American Institutionalism.
  5. Brian J. Loasby, Knowledge, Institutions and Evolution in Economics.

Assignment 5:
Please, answer the following questions (up to 4 pages):

  • Explain the role of transaction costs.
  • Describe and explain the institutional points of economic system activities.

Class 6  Keynesian Theory 
- The Keynesian revolution.
- Keynes Income Expenditure Model.

Readings:

  1. M. Blaug, The Methodology of Economics: Or, How Economists Explain (Cambridge Surveys of Economic Literature) Cambridge 1990.
  2. Gailbraith John K, A History of Economics: The Past and Present, London, 2000.
  3. M. Blaug, Economic Theory in Retrospect, first edition 1962, 5th revised edition 1997.
  4. Keynes, John. M. The General Theory of Employment Interest and Money, MacMillan, London, 1964.
  5. Peter Pugh and Chris Garratt Introducing Keynes, (Cambridge, UK: Icon Books Ltd., 1994).

Assignment 6:
Please, answer the following questions (up to 3 pages):

  • Describe the main principles of Keynesian theory.
  • Explain Income Expenditure Model.

Class 7  The Monetarism Theory
- History and background of monetarism theory.
- The monetarist counterrevolution.
- Key monetarist propositions.
- Theoretical underpinnings of monetarism.
- Four propositions.
- Monetarist policy recommendations and their foundations.

Readings:

  1. M. Blaug, The Methodology of Economics: Or, How Economists Explain (Cambridge Surveys of Economic Literature) Cambridge 1990.
  2. Gailbraith John K, A History of Economics: The Past and Present, London, 2000.
  3. M. Blaug, Economic Theory in Retrospect, first edition 1962, 5th revised edition 1997.
  4. Friedman, Milton, and Anna Schwartz. Monetary Trends in the United States and United Kingdom. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982.
  5. Mayer, Thomas. The Structure of Monetarism. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1978.
  6. Modigliani, Franco. "The Monetarist Controversy, or Should We Forsake Stabilization Policies?" American Economic Review, March 1977.
  7. North, Douglass C. 1990. Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance. Cambridge University Press.

Assignment 7:
Please, answer the following questions (up to 4 pages):

  • Describe the main law of monetarism.
  • Explain four monetarist propositions.
  • Describe the main aspects of monetarist policy recommendation.

Class 8 Closing exam
Based on your interest, choose any topic discussed within this course module and write an analytic essay (13-15 pages).

You are here: Study Programs Economics History of economic thought