Schaffer_4620_HistEconThought - Syllabus Fall 2009 HISTORY...

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WAS 1/4 8/18/2009 Syllabus, Fall 2009 HISTORY OF ECONOMIC THOUGHT W. A. Schaffer Fall 2009 Econ 4620A MWF 2, IC 109 TEXTS: (1) Todd G. Buchholz , New Ideas from Dead Economists , Revised Edition, New York: Plume (Penguin Putnam, Inc.), 1999. (2) Robert L. Heilbroner, The Worldly Philosophers , Updated Seventh Edition, New York: Simon and Schuster, Inc., 2003. (3) Selections from the Wealth of Nations and other readings (library-site files). Course Description This course traces the history of Western economic thought from ancient to modern times, with an emphasis on developments since Adam Smith published the Wealth of Nations in 1776. We attempt to understand the interactions of scholars in building a discipline called "economics," the influence of technological change and the social, business, and political environments on economics, and the influence of economists on society. In addition, we examine the progress of the principles of economics from their formative stages to modern times. Process We will discuss the Buchholz and Heilbroner texts throughout the semester; they provide a simple unifying theme. The Greeks, the Schoolmen, the Mercantilists and the Physiocrats will be addressed through readings available in electronic files from the on-line reserves of the Georgia Tech Library and through other sites on the Web. We will work through major points in Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations in some detail, drawing on annotated material available on reserve and as an electronic file. We will use supplementary readings (on Library reserve) to address Smith's contemporaries, Karl Marx, a host of early thinkers, and the economists leading us into the last century in developing economics as a science. We will have three short quizzes and a final exam on which to base your grade. The three highest scores will each count for one-third of your final grade. The quiz grades will be curved, the course grade will not be. While these will include mostly multiple-choice and short discussion questions, they will be designed to determine whether or not you have read and assimilated the two assigned books and the assigned readings. This means they could be picky. Note that the quizzes will focus on all materials assigned as well as on classroom discussions. Attendance is not required. It is, of course, desired. You are expected to keep up
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This note was uploaded on 11/02/2011 for the course ECON 7125 taught by Professor Smith during the Spring '11 term at James Madison University.

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Schaffer_4620_HistEconThought - Syllabus Fall 2009 HISTORY...

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