Department of Economic History

Lund University School of Economics and Management

EKHT31 Advanced Topic: History of Economic Thought

Graduate level, 7.5 hp (ECTS)

In this course, the aim is to study the development of economic thinking since the 18th century and the methodology of economics. The course is made up of two parts. The first part consists of an overview of the development of the economics discipline during the last 250 years, along with its relationship to economic history. The course initially deals with the so-called classical political economy represented by thinkers like Smith, Ricardo, Malthus and Say. Furthermore, developments of Marx, as well as historical and institutional schools, which evolved alongside the marginalist revolution with Jevons, Menger, Walras, during the last part of the 19th century. The 20th century begins with Marshall and foundation of neoclassical economics and is followed by the breakthrough of modern macroeconomics with the Keynesian analysis and its successors such as Hicks and Arrow/Debreu and, furthermore, the monetarist and neoclassical challenge in the second half of the century. Finally, the multi-faceted development alongside the neoclassical mainstream towards and into the 21st century is examined. Some attention is devoted to the quantification and mathematising of economics and economic history during the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as the development of economic history as an independent discipline in Sweden. The second part deals with the methodology of economics in a scientific and social science context. How has the academic discipline economics developed in relation to trends in social science such as positivism and postmodernism? Moreover, theories and schools in economics are also analyzed from epistemological and sociology of science perspectives based on the theories and work of Popper, Kuhn and Lakatos.