Historical Foundations of Political Economy II

Term: Spring 2012

Subject Code: GECO

Course Number: 5105

This course surveys the development of economic analysis from the mid-nineteenth century up to 1960. The early part of this period was marked by a shift from the classical-Marxian focus on objective, or materialist, explanations of value and distribution to the neoclassical emphasis on subjective factors. The theoretical traditions associated with Marshall, Walras and the Austrians will be compared with a view to understanding how these distinct traditions emerged, contended with one another, and shaped the discipline. Due attention will be paid to institutionalist economics, to the socialist calculation debates, and to the impact of the economists who emigrated from Europe during the political crises of the 1930s. The course concludes with an assessment of the challenge to mainstream economics posed by postwar writings of the circle of economists centered at the University of Cambridge, including Joan Robinson and PieroSraffa.