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The Evolution of Economic Ideas


  • Deane,Phyllis


The failure of orthodox economic analysis to provide acceptable answers to the dominant contemporary policy problems has given rise to a widespread feeling of 'methodological crisis' in the discipline. Students find it increasingly hard to relate to a textbook-authenticated paradigm which seems to be in the process of disintegration. The object of this book is to put some of the current theoretical controversies into long term perspective by tracing their historical antecedents. A connected object is to interpret some of the doctrinal divisions in the modern debate by showing that they spring from profound disagreements about what economics is and what questions the economist ought to be trying to answer. It examines the way leading theorists have adapted their theories and concepts to major changes in the problem-situation facing policy makers. The book is in no sense exhaustive (either in the range of theories or in the selection of theorists discussed) but focuses particularly on changes in economists' views on the scope and methodology of economics and on the evolution of strategic ideas in the fields of value theory, monetary theory and growth theory. It raises questions of a socio-historical kind, such as: when did economics acquire a sufficently coherent and well-attested paradigm to rank as a distinct discipline? What were the distinguishing characteristics of successive paradigms for economics? How revolutionary were the changes attributable to periods of significant theoretical change? How can we explain the success or failure of alternative paradigms in gaining a hold over the minds of a majority of professional economists? All economists will find valuable insights in this book. For undergraduate students it is a compact and readable introduction to the history of economic thought.

Suggested Citation

  • Deane,Phyllis, 1978. "The Evolution of Economic Ideas," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521293150.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:cbooks:9780521293150

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    Cited by:

    1. Kakarot-Handtke, Egmont, 2011. "When Ricardo saw profit, he called it rent: on the vice of parochial realism," MPRA Paper 33625, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Doreen Bekker, 1995. "Weitzman's Profit Sharing Model: A Resurrection of Pre-Keynesian Theory?," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 63(3), pages 246-254, September.
    3. Kakarot-Handtke, Egmont, 2010. "Axiomatic Basics of e-Economics," MPRA Paper 24331, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Zaman, Md Monowaruz, 2007. "The theoretical aspect of Muhammad Yunus’s dream-'putting poverty in museums'," MPRA Paper 1306, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 02 Jan 2007.
    5. S.A. Drakopoulos, 1994. "Economics and the New Physics Some Methodological Implications," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 62(4), pages 198-209, December.
    6. Drakopoulos, Stavros A. & Gotsis, George, 2003. "A Meta-theoretical Assessment of the Decline of Scholastic Economics," MPRA Paper 12876, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2004.
    7. José Guilherme Silva Vieira & Ramón Garcia Fernández, 2006. "A Estrutura Das Revoluções Científicas E As Portas Abertas Para A Análise Retórica Na Economia," Anais do XXXIV Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 34th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 3, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    8. Catherine Baumont & Jean-Marie Huriot, 1996. "From von Thuenen to Fujita : continuity or rupture ?
      [De von Thünen à Fujita : continuité ou rupture ?]
      ," Working Papers hal-01527151, HAL.
    9. Michel Herland, 1992. "À quoi sert l'histoire de la pensée économique ?," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 43(5), pages 953-960.
    10. Wagner Adolf, 2004. "Statistische Adäquation bei Fortentwicklung der makrökonomischen Wirtschaftstheorie / Statistical Adequacy and the Evolution of Macroeconomic Theory," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 224(5), pages 612-625, October.
    11. Nixson, Frederick, 1984. ""Economic Development": A Suitable Case for Treatment?," Manchester Discussion Papers in Development Studies 232615, University of Manchester, School of Economics, International Development Centre.
    12. Dipak Ghosh, 2007. "The metamorphosis of Lewis's dual economy model," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(1), pages 5-25.
    13. Michel Rainelli, 1983. "Entrepreneur et profits dans les Principes de John Stuart Mill et d'Alfred Marshall," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 34(4), pages 794-810.

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