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The Ordinary Business of Life: A History of Economics from the Ancient World to the Twenty-First Century als Taschenbuch

The Ordinary Business of Life: A History of Economics from the Ancient World to the Twenty-First Century

Sprache: Englisch.
"Roger Backhouse's new history of economics is just what is needed: a short but still comprehensive history of economic thought which can be read with profit not only by economists but also by a variety of noneconomists, such as historians, philosoph … weiterlesen

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The Ordinary Business of Life: A History of Economics from the Ancient World to the Twenty-First Century als Taschenbuch


Titel: The Ordinary Business of Life: A History of Economics from the Ancient World to the Twenty-First Century
Autor/en: Roger E. Backhouse

ISBN: 0691116296
EAN: 9780691116297
Sprache: Englisch.

März 2004 - kartoniert - 384 Seiten


"Roger Backhouse's new history of economics is just what is needed: a short but still comprehensive history of economic thought which can be read with profit not only by economists but also by a variety of noneconomists, such as historians, philosophers, sociologists, and so on. Complex ideas are summarized with exemplary clarity, and the book practically reads itself. "The Ordinary Business of Life" is a find."--Richard Swedberg, Stockholm University, author of "Max Weber and the Idea of Economic Sociology""In recent years many new sub-fields of economics have undermined the grand 'neoclassical synthesis' of the mid-twentieth century. Readers of this concise yet sweeping survey will see clearly that today's major dissenting schools, like neoclassical economics itself, have deep roots in the discipline's rich classical heritage. Roger Backhouse has written an elegant and thoroughly enjoyable book that will enable a broad audience to appreciate both the continuities of economic thought and its unavoidable inner tensions."--Timur Kuran, Professor of Economics and Law and King Faisal Professor of Islamic Thought and Culture, University of Southern California"Roger Backhouse provides what is perhaps the most readable history of the dismal science, describing the role of economic ideas in shaping the way we live and think from the ancient world to the present. Although it is obviously difficult to describe how economic models and theories evolved over several millennia, Mr. Backhouse has succeeded admirably. Few books can claim to provide such an accessible and complete cataloging of the role that economic ideas have played in the 'ordinary business of life.' "--George Borjas, Harvard University, and author of "Heaven's Door: Immigration Policy and the American Economy""Backhouse is perhaps the best person in the world to write this historian's history of economic thought. His is the history of the visions, not the technical tools, of the great econo


Acknowledgements x Prologue 1 The History of Economics 1 What is Economics? 3 Viewing the Past through the Lens of the Present 6 The Story Told Here 8 1. The Ancient World 11 Homer and Hesiod 11 Estate Management--Xenophon's Oikonomikos 13 Plato's Ideal State 18 Aristotle on Justice and Exchange 19 Aristotle and the Acquisition of Wealth 22 Rome 25 Conclusions 27 2. The Middle Ages 29 The Decline of Rome 29 Judaism 31 Early Christianity 33 Islam 35 From Charles Martel to the Black Death 39 The Twelfth-Century Renaissance and Economics in the Universities 41 Nicole Oresme and the Theory of Money 47 Conclusions 49 3. The Emergence of the Modern World View--the Sixteenth Century 51 The Renaissance and the Emergence of Modern Science 51 The Reformation 54 The Rise of the European Nation State 56 Mercantilism 57 Machiavelli 59 The School of Salamanca and American Treasure 60 England under the Tudors 62 Economics in the Sixteenth Century 64 4. Science, Politics and Trade in Seventeenth-Century England 66 Background 66 Science and the Scientists of the Royal Society 67 Political Ferment 73 Economic Problems--Dutch Commercial Power and the Crisis of the 1620s 76 The Balance-of-Trade Doctrine 77 The Rate of Interest and the Case for Free Trade 79 The Recoinage Crisis of the 1690s 84 Economics in Seventeenth-Century England 87 5. Absolutism and Enlightenment in Eighteenth-Century France 89 Problems of the Absolute State 89 Early-Eighteenth-Century Critics of Mercantilism 91 Cantillon on the Nature of Commerce in General 94 The Enlightenment 99 Physiocracy 100 Turgot 104 Economic Thought under the Ancien Regime 109 6. The Scottish Enlightenment of the Eighteenth Century 110 Background 110 Hutcheson 112 Hume 114 Sir James Steuart 117 Adam Smith 121 Division of Labour and the Market 123 Capital Accumulation 126 Smith and Laissez-Faire 127 Economic Thought at the End of the Eighteenth Century 130 7. Classical Political Economy, 1790-1870 132 From Moral Philosophy to Political Economy 132 Utilitarianism and the Philosophic Radicals 136 Ricardian Economics 137 Alternatives to Ricardian Economics 141 Government Policy and the Role of the State 147 Money 150 John Stuart Mill 153 Karl Marx 156 Conclusions 164 8. The Split between History and Theory in Europe, 1870-1914 166 The Professionalization of Economics 166 Jevons, Walras and Mathematical Economics 167 Economics in Germany and Austria 173 Historical Economics and the Marshallian School in Britain 177 European Economic Theory, 1900-1914 182 9. The Rise of American Economics, 1870-1939 185 US Economics in the Late Nineteenth Century 185 John Bates Clark 187 Mathematical Economics 190 Thorstein Veblen 195 John R. Commons 198 Inter-War Pluralism 201 Inter-War Studies of Competition 202 The Migration of European Academics 207 US Economics in the Mid Twentieth Century 209 10. Money and the Business Cycle, 1898-1939 211 Wicksell's Cumulative Process 211 The Changed Economic Environment 214 Austrian and Swedish Theories of the Business Cycle 217 Britain: From Marshall to Keynes 219 The American Tradition 224 Keynes's General Theory 228 The Keynesian Revolution 232 The Transition from Inter-War to Post-Second World War Macroeconomics 235 11. Econometrics and Mathematical Economics, 1930 to the Present 237 The Mathematization of Economics 237 The Revolution in National-Income Accounting 240 The Econometric Society and the Origins of Modern Econometrics 245 Frisch, Tinbergen and the Cowles Commission 248 The Second World War 252 General-Equilibrium Theory 254 Game Theory 262 The Mathematization of Economics (Again) 265 12. Welfare Economics and Socialism, 1870 to the Present 269 Socialism and Marginalism 269 The State and Social Welfare 271 The Lausanne School 274 The Socialist-Calculation Debate 275 Welfare Economics, 1930-1960 279 Market Failure and Government Failure 282 Conclusions 284 13. Economists and Policy, 1939 to the Present 288 The Expanding Role of the Economics Profession 288 Keynesian Economics and Macroeconomic Planning 290 Inflation and Monetarism 295 The New Classical Macroeconomics 298 Development Economics 301 Conclusions 306 14. Expanding the Discipline, 1960 to the Present 309 Applied Economics 309 Economic Imperialism 311 Heterodox Economics 313 New Concepts and New Techniques 317 Economics in the Twentieth Century 321 Epilogue: Economists and Their History 325 A Note on the Literature 329 References 344 lndex 353


Roger E. Backhouse holds a Chair in the History and Philosophy of Economics at the University of Birmingham. He is the author of "Truth and Progress in Economic Knowledge, Economists and the Economy", and "A History of Modern Economic Analysis".


"An important work... [Backhouse's] treatment gives deeper insight into historical economic writings and suggests broader views of contemporary economic issues than many well-read economists are likely to have. Interesting and accessible to amateurs, it should also be welcomed by professionals."--Publishers Weekly "[Backhouse's] very readable history offers economists and interested readers an excellent account of the evolution of economic ideas."--Science "Useful to those who already have a smattering of economic ideas but want to fill in the historical gaps ... [this will] also be an eye-opener to specialist economists."--Samuel Brittan, Journal of Economic Literature "This compact study gives an accomplished and remarkably comprehensive overview of an often arcane field of inquiry."--Kirkus Reviews "Backhouse explains how world economics reached its present state. He places key figures in an appropriate historical context and then explains the various economic ideas as they emerged, using clear analysis and apt quotations. The result is a well-integrated, thoughtful, accessible text that makes a major contribution to the history and philosophy of economics. Important reading for students, professionals, and anyone interested in learning how economics has evolved."--Library Journal "A scholarly book that will have appeal to well-read library patrons within the general population."--Mary Whaley, Booklist "Thinking like a historian, [Backhouse] has tried ... to explain how economics got to where it is, especially in its interconnections with other disciplines. He has largely succeeded."--The Economist "A readable and enjoyable volume accessible to a broad audience, and of considerable value and interest to professional economists."--Choice "Roger Backhouse has written a history of economics that is sweeping in is historical scope, while also being extremely concise... [A] commendable introduction to the historical context of modern economics."--Stephen Kirchner, Policy "Roger Backhouse's brief survey of the history of economic thought is well written and accessible to non-specialists... [T]his is a fine book for a busy professional economist who wishes to delve into a short history of economic thought."--Robert E. Prasch, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization
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