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Among economic historians, Marx is often considered the most important economist of the 19th century. His attempts to provide a systematic explanation of the functioning of capitalism was on a far grander scale than anyone who preceded him, and in that sense, he reset the bar very high for what would henceforth be considered comprehensive economic theory, ...


13

I was recently amazed to discover instances of computational social choice in The Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art, the Chinese counterpart of Euclid's element, written by several generations of scholars from the 10th up to the 2nd century BCE. The core issues in social choice theory is the question of fair allocation, or fair collective decision. Once ...


9

Game Theory in the Talmud by Robert J. Aumann discusses a bankruptcy problem and a variety of fair division problems of a contested sum from the Talmud, a document written roughly between 200 and 500 CE. For example: A fascinating discussion of bankruptcy occurs in the Babylonian Talmud 2 (Ketubot 93a). There are three creditors; the debts are 100, 200 ...


8

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 ...


6

Warren Samuels addresses this issue in his article "Why the Georgist Movement Has Not Succeeded: A Speculative Memorandum." In summary he argues first that Georgism did not succeed because of the conflation of the ideas of income and productivity, leading people to view a tax on land as a tax on productivity even though the tax is meant to equate income ...


6

I find the following quotes to be interesting: "[Political economy is] a branch of the science of a statesman or legislator [with the objective to provide] a plentiful revenue or subsistence for the people [and] to supply the state or commonwealth with a revenue for the publick services."—Adam Smith, 1776. "Economics is a study of man in the ordinary ...


6

"...capitalists buy and sell money as though it were a productive economic good." No they don't. They buy and sell currency, because the price of currency fluctuates (due to imagination and/or economic fundamentals) and so there are profit opportunities there. Also, they are after liquidity, (i.e. holding money instead of physical capital), because ...


6

Alecos is correct that Smith is talking about packaging, but I don't believe that "paper" refers to a paper bag. Straight pins used to be sold on sheets of paper (usually as sets of a dozen), through which they passed twice, like so: So by "put them into the paper" Smith means exactly what he said: the pins are put into paper before being sold.


6

Covering the historical part, you may want to look at: 1) The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White, and the Making of a New World Order which appears to be written in a "non-fiction thriller" style, revolving around the argument that "(Bretton Woods) was in reality part of a much more ambitious geopolitical agenda hatched ...


5

Fair division: from cake cutting to dispute resolution (Brams (1996)) claims that the following text from Hesiod’s Theogony (sometime in 750 and 650 BCE) is the earliest recorded example of an envy-free (but not regret free!) fair division problem: For when the gods and mortal men had a dispute at Mecone, even then Prometheus was forward to cut up a ...


5

Marx is indeed an influential classical economist, however he added almost nothing to economics as a discipline. His theories of labor value, exploitation and modes of production were all articulated before him, which he acknowledged. What he did do was systematize and popularize these theories as scientific. Marx was closer to Malthus than to Smith in terms ...


5

Well, in macroeconomics, namely in DSGE modelling, VOXEU has recently published a report on its uses by Central Banks (CBs), and future lines of improvement, which academics have been tackling but still hasn't found its way into CBs policy analysis. There's no space to explain all the new topics, nor do I think it's the intention of this question. So, I'll ...


4

My app is acting odd and won't allow me to comment, but here's my follow up comment. Yeah, for sure! My list consists of this: Wealth of Nations - Adam Smith Capital - Karl Marx Principles of Economics - Alfred Marshall General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money - John Maynard Keynes. Those are just the most definitive works in the field that I'...


4

There is a major disciplinary specification problem here: “who is an economist?” At the time Marx was active as an author (including posthumously with Engels) the field of knowledge was known as “political economy,” so as to distinguish it from the domestic economy of household management—both from the Greek oikos. Political economy was, and still can, be ...


4

A recently published (and perhaps the only one) paper on the matter is Lloyd, P. (2012). The Discovery of the Isoquant. History of Political Economy, 44(4), 643-661. From the Introduction : "The absence of a history of the isoquant is in marked contrast to the universal recognition that F. Y. Edgeworth (1881) invented the concept of the indifference ...


3

Both another answer and the OP have linked to the wikipedia article on the matter. I think the following passage from the article sums adequately the situation (bold mine): "The term “Islamic banking” refers to a system of banking or banking activity that is consistent with Islamic law (Shariah) principles and guided by Islamic economics. The ...


3

A reference in this topic is Michel De Vroey. He published a new book on A History of Macroeconomics from Keynes to Lucas and Beyond. This book retraces the history of macroeconomics from Keynes's General Theory to the present. Central to it is the contrast between a Keynesian era and a Lucasian - or dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) - era, each ...


3

Knut Wicksell, author of Interest & Prices, argues that money ≠ capital:(quoted on p. 8 of Bernard W. Dempsey's Interest & Usury) It is usually said that in modern communities, capital (of the mobile kind) is lent in the form of money. But this is a metaphorical and inexact manner of speaking which can easily lead to error. Liquid capital, which ...


3

In 350 BC Aristotle in his works politics II, part III wrote about the tragedy of the commons: That all persons call the same thing mine in the sense in which each does so may be a fine thing, but it is impracticable; or if the words are taken in the other sense, such a unity in no way conduces to harmony. And there is another objection to the proposal. ...


3

There is an amazing new working paper by Erik Reinhart and coauthors, titled "80 Economic Bestsellers before 1850: A Fresh Look at the History of Economic Thought". The work started in 1968 (!) and is soon to become a book. The paper focuses only on "bestseller" (apparently defined as number of copies produced/sold, albeit is not clear). The book is to ...


3

This is how I view it. At the very core of economics, is each and every human on this earth making decisions he or her thinks are in his or hers best interest. In real life, we do not calculate utility before making a decision or compute any expected values; we do what feels right at the moment. Taking the cross-section of human decisions, economists try to ...


3

Actually, many people claim that too few schools of thought are taught. The question is very broad because it encompasses several topics in the methodology of the social sciences and in epistemology. First, we do not know whether we can actually test theories through econometric analysis. Econometric techniques - and in general statistical ones - are based ...


3

In an essay entitled Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren, Keynes famously argued that people would one day only need to work 15 hours per week (see bottom of p 4). This was linked to an argument about satiation (see p 3, half way down), although he was careful to say that this applies to absolute needs, and that relative needs (ie needs to feel ...


3

The way you have defined excess demand, it is only consumer excess demand. But Walras's law holds in any private ownership economy at all prices (at which demand and supply are well defined). Walras's law is basically equivalent to consumers spending their budget fully. Let there be $l$ commodities, so every commodity bundle is an element of $\mathbb{R}^l$. ...


3

Not to be too obvious about it, but couldn't you just say Jeremy Bentham? The calculus of choosing bundles that maximizes pleasure specified a very simple utility function in words.


3

I suspect you have found the author responsible for the original coinage of the word "externality" within economics, with this meaning. In the 1950s (and earlier), the discussion of externalities was typically done using the phrase "external economies", as Francis M. Bator frequently did too. Bator built on Scitovsky (1954) and Meade (1952), both of whom ...


2

What is it about economics as a discipline that has allowed the it to extend to these "seemingly non-economics aspects of life?" The fact that essentially all aspects of human/social life have a materialistic base/aspect. I am not saying that it is always the most important or critical aspect, but it is almost always one of the important aspects (still). ...


2

Jonathan Haidt has used a five axis model to characterize groups by their use of 5 sets of moral intuitions. Harm/care, Fairness/reciprocity, Ingroup/loyalty, Authority/ respect, and Purity/sanctity. Across 4 studies using multiple methods, liberals consistently showed greater endorsement and use of the Harm/care and Fairness/reciprocity ...


2

Personally, I feel like Joseph Schumpeter's history of economic analysis does a great job at developing the scope of how economic methodology and analysis has changed with age. It's dense and will take time. I also have a few shorter books that help translate the history of the discipline with more ease: Worldly Philiosophers-Robert Heilbroner Teachings ...


2

As a first read in these fields I would recommend J K Galbraith's A History of Economics. It covers, in a concise and highly readable way, major developments in economic thought from ancient times until around 1980, making links with major economic and political events. A much more detailed book on the history of economic theory is Ekelund & Hebert's A ...


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