Economists and the Economy: The Evolution of Economic Ideas
Economists and the Economy combines economic history and a history of economics. The work covers both major historical events, such as the English Civil War, the Industrial Revolution, and the Great Depression, and intellectual developments in economic thought. Among the theories examined are neoclassical growth theory, the Harrod-Domar model, the Cambridge capital controversy, and statistical research. Backhouse seeks to explain how economic theories are formed in response to specific incidents affecting economic events. Backhouse claims that although advances in economic theory have been very important in helping economists to understand the world better, excessive prestige has been attached to work on economic theory. By telling the story in terms of attempts to tackle real-world problems, such as inflation, privatization, and deregulation, this book presents a dramatic new perspective on the history of economic thought, showing that it is not necessary to give pride of place to theories of value and distribution. Economics and the Economy was originally published in 1988. For this second edition, the author has added a new introduction and has substantially revised and updated other chapters. While it will be especially helpful to students of economics, Economics and the Economy is written in such a way that it will be accessible to readers with only a limited background in economics. Historians, economists, and scholars interested in the history of ideas will all find this work to be an important resource. According to David Colander of Middlebury College, "Economics and the Economy is a nice blend of history of economic thought and economic history...Backhouse organizes the presentation by topic, tying the developments in economic ideas with the historical happenings in the economy." Adrian Darnell of the University of Durham, in praise of this book, notes that "this most readable, enjoyable and informative book is, perhaps, Roger Backhouse's most ambitious project to date."
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Adam Smith addition agriculture Alfred Marshall analyse argued arguments assumptions balance of trade Bank of England Britain British bullion business cycle Cantillon capital chapter circulation claimed classical economists coin commodities competition consumption Cor n Laws costs cotton countries crisis currency discussed economic growth economic theory economic thought eighteenth century empirical evidence English equilibrium example explain exports factors fall figure fluctuations free trade gold growth rate Harrod-Domar model history of economic ideas important increase inflation interest rates investment Jevons Keynes Keynesian economics labour macroeconomics manufacturing mathematical monetary money supply monopoly national income natural rate neoclassical nineteenth century note issue output percent period Phillips curve Physiocrats problems quantity theory Quesnay raise rate of interest rate of profit reason reduced regulation result Ricardo rise sector silver Smith spending statistical supply and demand tariff theoretical theory of value unemployment wages whilst
Page 13 - I had a growing feeling in the later years of my work at the subject that a good mathematical theorem dealing with economic hypotheses was very unlikely to be good economics: and I went more and more on the rules — (1) Use mathematics as a shorthand language, rather than as an engine of inquiry. (2) Keep to them till you have done. (3) Translate into English. (4) Then illustrate by examples that are important in real life. (5) Burn the mathematics. (6) If you can't succeed in 4, burn 3. This last...