Something I've never seen in Economics but have in Maths and Chemistry and really enjoyed is that when I took it we got to the see the evolution of the science (and yes Economics is a [social] science ) showing us the very building blocks and the story of how it evolved into its modern counterparts.

Like with maths: Something like the basis 1) Indian numbers, $+$, $-$, $x$, $\rightarrow$; 2) fractions, radical numbers, square roots; 3) complex numbers.

Something like that it doesn't come to mind well but I quite enjoyed that. It really set the tone.

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    $\begingroup$ I think you want to read about the history of economic thought. $\endgroup$ – Giskard Nov 15 '15 at 10:11
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    $\begingroup$ Nobel laureates for the recent history: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… $\endgroup$ – Anton Tarasenko Nov 15 '15 at 15:45
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    $\begingroup$ This would potentially be good if the coverage of economics was better: histropedia.com/timeline/cjyqtpg9bg0t/Economics. Right now the coverage is dreadful. $\endgroup$ – Ubiquitous Nov 19 '15 at 14:13
  • $\begingroup$ Anton that wikipedia page is perfect thanks $\endgroup$ – Ivan Nov 21 '15 at 11:11

I don't think I can really do this question justice. A lot of us probably have different things that come to mind when we think of the history of economics. I tend to take an academic interpretation of your question.

A potpourri of random (mostly microecon, but maybe it'd be better to sort them) events that come to mind:

1838 - Supply and Demand: Antoine Augustin Cournot publishes a book about the supply and demand model (Alfred Marshall makes it famous later).

1870s - General Equilbirum Theory: William Stanley Jevons, Carl Menger, and French economist Leon Walras develop around the same time the idea of marginal utility, and Walras in particular creates his work in 1874, "Elements of Pure Economics"

1915(?) - Slutsky Decomposition: Eugen Slutsky relates Marshallian and Hicksian demand to separate income and substitution effects. In 1927, he did something with statistics and business cycles that I don't quite understand, but I think that was important too.

1930 - Intertemporal Consumption: Irving Fisher lays out early work on discounted saving, though arguably, Modigliani & Brumberg (1954), Albert Ando, and Milton Friedman (1957) and the work on the life cycle-model is more noteworthy.

1944 - Game Theory: John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern use Brouwer's fixed-point theorem to create the basis for game theory.

1947 - Von-Neumann Morgenstern Utility John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern create their four axioms surrounding rationality with probabilistic utility outcomes.

1951 - Arrow's Impossibility Theorem: Joseph Kenneth Arrow publishes his book, "Social Choice and Individual Values"

1973 - Black-Scholes Pricing Model:

1977(?) - Mechanism Design: Leonid Hurwicz, Eric Maskin, and Roger Myerson create the foundation for "reverse game theory".

As you can see, there are lots of gaps. I still don't know a lot about economic history--just that it is very large.

Other topics to add: Behavioral economics, experimental economics, information economics

  • $\begingroup$ you may want to consider adding experimental economics and information economics research. just came to my mind $\endgroup$ – HRSE Nov 20 '15 at 1:22
  • $\begingroup$ I'll put it in a to-do list, though those seem like harder topics to pinpoint when in history they came into the forefront of economics. $\endgroup$ – Kitsune Cavalry Nov 20 '15 at 1:42
  • $\begingroup$ i think experimental work can be pointed quite clearly to the work of vernon smith, but information economics there are already at least 5 nobel prizes so that may be a hard pick. oh and the introduction of rational expectations models in macro was also big. $\endgroup$ – HRSE Nov 20 '15 at 2:33
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    $\begingroup$ Cool i just learnt about intertemporal consumption theory thanks for the effort Kitsune =) $\endgroup$ – Ivan Nov 21 '15 at 11:11

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