History of Economic Thought


Summer Session - 2006
Mondays & Wednesdays, 1:00 - 4:15pm
Engineering #2, Room 321

Instructor:       Prof. Steven R. Cunningham
Office:              HRM 418, Tel. (860) 486-3550
Office Hours: Mondays & Wednesdays 12:00 - 1:00 pm, after class, or by appointment

Required Text:

    Stanley L Brue. The Evolution of Economic Thought, 6th ed. Dryden (2000). 


The course surveys the history of economic thought, focusing on pivotal people and ideas that have had wide-spread subsequent impact on economic theory and on the world. The course also meets the University's guidelines for "W" courses. 


The course is a University "W" writing course. Therefore grading will be accomplished by having students write a paper and take an essay-type final exam--each accounting for 50% of the final course grade. The paper will be a 20-page term paper on a topic related to the history of economic thought. Students will produce and deliver an outline and drafts according to the schedule given below. A list of appropriate topics will be distributed in class. Both the term paper and the final exam will be graded for both content and writing. It is not possible to get a passing grade on the paper if the paper and exam are not well written and well  organized. 

Course Schedule

May 31, 2006
Chapter 1 
Pre-Mercantilist Thought

June 5, 2006
Chapters 2 - 3
The Mercantilists
The Physiocrats
Writing: Paper Organization, Citation, Logic
Powerpoint Slides

June 7, 2006
Chapters 4 - 5
The Roots of Classical Liberalism
Locke and Rousseau
Adam Smith & the Classical School
Writing: Argumentation and Logical Fallacies
Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau slides
Cantillon and Smith Slides

June 12, 2006
Chapters 6-8
Classical School after Smith
Thomas Malthus and David Ricardo
Bentham, Say, Senior & Mill
Writing: Structure--paragraphs, sections, topic sentences
First Draft/Outline of Paper Due
Classicals Slides

June 14, 2006

Chapters 9 - 11
The Rise of Socialism
Karl Marx & Marxian Socialism
The German Historical School
First Draft/Outline of Paper Returned
Discussion of Papers and Writing Issues
Socialism Slides

June 19, 2006

Chapters 12-15
Forerunners of the Marginalists (Cournot, etc.)
Marginalists & Neoclassicals
Stanley Jevons to Alfred Marshall
Discussion of Papers and Writing Issues
Marginalism Slides

June 21, 2006
Chapters 16-17
Neoclassical Monetary Theory
Less Than Perfect Competition
Second Draft of Paper Due
Discussion of Papers and Writing Issues
Neoclassical Eonomics Slides

June 26, 2006

Chapters 18 - 20
Mathematical Economics
The Institutionalist School

Welfare Economics
Discussion of Papers and Writing Issues
Second Draft of Paper Returned
Institutionalist Slides
Welfare Economics Slides
Mathematical Economics Slides

June 28, 2006
Chapters 21-22
Keynesian Economics
Discussion of Papers and Writing Issues
Keynesian Economics Slides

July 5, 2006
hapters 23-25
Growth and Development
Chicago School
Concluding Thoughts
Final Version of Paper Due
Growth Slides
Chicago Slides

July 7, 2006
Take-home Final Exam is Due by 5:00 PM