Economists and the Economy: The Evolution of Economic Ideas

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Transaction Publishers, 1994 - 260 стор.
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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Economics and Its Past
Growth and Development
The Regulation of Trade and Industry
Money and Inflation
Employment and Economic Fluctuations
The Theory of a Market Economy
The Discipline of Economics
A Note on the Literature
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Сторінка 75 - By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security ; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.
Сторінка 75 - ... the duty of erecting and maintaining certain public works and certain public institutions, which it can never be for the interest of any individual, or small number of individuals, to erect and maintain ; because the profit could never repay the expense to any individual or small number of individuals, though it may frequently do much more than repay it to a great society.
Сторінка 75 - As every individual, therefore, endeavours as much as he can both to employ his capital in the support of domestic industry, and so to direct that industry that its produce may be of the greatest value; every individual necessarily labours to render the annual revenue of the society as great as he can.
Сторінка 75 - All systems either of preference or of restraint, therefore, being thus completely taken away, the obvious and simple system of natural liberty establishes itself of its own accord. Every man, as long as he does not violate the laws of justice, is left perfectly free to pursue his own interest his own way, and to bring both his industry and capital into competition with those of any other man, or order of men.
Сторінка 75 - The whole of the advantages and disadvantages of the different employments of labour and stock must, in the same neighbourhood, be either perfectly equal or continually tending to equality.
Сторінка 67 - That the loss of a trade with one nation is not that only, separately considered, but so much of the trade of the world rescinded and lost, for all is combined together.
Сторінка 159 - The history of what we are in the habit of calling the " state of trade " is an instructive lesson. We find it subject to various conditions which are periodically returning ; it revolves apparently in an established cycle. First we find it in a state of quiescence, — next improvement, — growing confidence, — prosperity, — excitement, — overtrading, — convulsion, — pressure, — stagnation, — distress, — ending again in quiescence.
Сторінка 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...
Сторінка 28 - And thus the certainty of being able to exchange all that surplus part of the produce of his own labour, which is over and above his own consumption, for such parts of the produce of other men's labour as he...

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