For the purpose of discussing the development of ‘wealth’—the major concern of economists—Bladen defines four periods within the classical tradition, and demonstrates that in each there appeared a characteristic preoccupation with a particular area of economics. From Adam Smith to John Stuart Mill the principal concern was productivity and growth; the neoclassical economists represented by Jevons and Marshall emphasized the problems of allocation of given productive resources; depressions in the twenties and thirties and the impact of Keynesian theory led to a preoccupation with ‘employment,’ and after World War II attention shifted to ‘growth.’ Bladen is critical of previous histories of economic thought: ‘by isolating the treatment of one element in a complex and integrated system of thought they frequently misrepresent each author’s treatment of the particular element.’ In this work he attempts to show each aspect of the work of the economists he has selected in the context of an integrated whole.
First published in English in 1934 and 1935, this Routledge Revival set is a reissue of Wicksell's two volume work on political economy, first published in Sweden in 1901 and 1906. This work is aimed at both the professional economist and the advanced student alike, as well as all those interested in the theoretical development of political economy. Volume I concerns itself predominantly with issues of theory: specifically the theory of value, the theory of production and distribution and the theory of capital accumulation. Volume II deals with theories relating to money, currency and credit.
The book then goes on to offer extensive coverage of the twentieth century - the rise of Keynesianism, econometrics, the Chicago School and the neoclassical paradigm. The concluding chapters analyze the birth of late twentieth century developments such as game theory, experimental economics and competing schools of economic thought.
This text includes a number of practical features:
a "family tree" at the beginning of each section, illustrating how the different developments within economics are interlinked
the inclusion of readings from the original key texts
a summary and questions to discuss, along with glossaries and suggestions for further reading
This book provides the clearest, most readable guide to economic thought that exists and encourages students to examine the relevance of the discipline's history to contemporary theory.