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OAFP 4835 - History of Economic Thought

Type d'enseignement : Elective

Semester : Autumn 2018-2019

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English


No pre-requisites required.

Course Description

The course aims at providing students with an understanding of the intellectual developments that shaped today's economic and political institutions. The past affects current institutions and the policy debates regarding their evolution. The story of what happened—economic history—is, in turn, intimately related to the story of what economists thought happened—the history of economic thought. Based on the analysis of original texts, the lectures will cover the following topics: the connection between taxation and representation, the link between growth, redistribution and inequality, and the origins of regulatory institutions, such as central banks. We will also talk about the birth of economics as a discipline and its connection with other social sciences. In particular, we will focus on how social sciences are used to advance political agendas and the conflicts of interest that may arise.


ANTIPA, Pamfili (Economiste)

Pedagogical format

Classroom lectures, student presentations, and discussions.

Course validation

Your grades will be based on an oral presentation (50%), a written discussion of a text (40%), and participation in class (10%). 1) Presentations should last no more than ten minutes per student (teams may include up to two students) and should be accompanied by slides. You may choose any of the subjects covered in class. If ever you want to work on something else, please let me know beforehand. 2) Beginning with the second class, I will send out two to three texts that every participant is supposed to read before the next session. You will have to hand in a critical appraisal for one of these texts (three pages). 3) I would like to keep the class as interactive as possible: whatever questions and or comments you have are more than welcome.


Beginning with the second class, students are to read two to three texts that I will send out before each session.

Required reading

  • Heilbroner (Robert), The Worldly Philosophers (7th edition), New York, Simon and Schuster, 1999
  • Blaug (Mark), “No History of Ideas Please, We're Economists”, The Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 15(1), pp. 145-164
  • Solow (Robert), “Economic History and Economics” The American Economic Review, Vol. 75(2), pp. 328-331, Papers and Proceedings