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Retrospectives: Between God and the Market: The Religious Roots of the American Economic Association


  • Bradley W. Bateman
  • Ethan B. Kapstein


This essay examines the strong influence of the Social Gospel movement on the founding of the American Economic Association. Richard T. Ely, the driving force behind the Association's founding, was also the most popular figure in the Social Gospel movement. The essay discusses Ely's influence in the statement of principles that shaped the early AEA and how the founders conceived their original mission as a scientific enterprise to better the lives of the poor and the working class.

Suggested Citation

  • Bradley W. Bateman & Ethan B. Kapstein, 1999. "Retrospectives: Between God and the Market: The Religious Roots of the American Economic Association," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 249-258, Fall.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:13:y:1999:i:4:p:249-258
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.13.4.249

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rutherford, Malcolm, 1997. "American Institutionalism and the History of Economics," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(02), pages 178-195, September.
    2. Barber, William J, 1987. "Should the American Economic Association Have Toasted Simon Newcomb at Its 100th Birthday Party?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 179-183, Summer.
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    Cited by:

    1. Susan Cohen, 2011. "Soldiering Through History to Find Out the Good That Economics Can Do," Challenge, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 54(6), pages 78-92.
    2. Ibrahim Abraham, 2011. "Tensions in Christian Financial Ethics: An Historical Overview," Chapters,in: The Foundations of Islamic Banking, chapter 13 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion


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