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A History of Economic Theory: Classic Contributions, 1720-1980 (Softshell Books) Paperback – October 1, 1994

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Product Details

  • Series: Softshell Books
  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press (October 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801849764
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801849763
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,372,189 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Well organized. Its chapters on monetary topics and marginalist writers are balanced and informative. Many economists neglected in other histories are here given their due... As a convenient desk reference, this book has much to offer.

(Journal of Economic History)

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 23, 1999
Format: Paperback
The only book I've seen, outside the Palgrave reference book, that gives brief vignettes on different economists and their schools. Author does not mince words, writes strong, and gets to the point. A nice one-volume tome. Also includes some mathematics, which is nice.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Michael Emmett Brady on March 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
Niehans appears to be unable to offer an objective assessment of many of the economists that he covers in a series of short essays in this book.Basically,Niehans views the history of economic thought as if it were composed of two different kinds of economists,the good guys who believe in Say's Law as a general covering law,which Niehans defines as the postulate that in the long run price adjustments alone will always guarantee the full employment of all resources(resource scarcity) excluding necessary slack and down time for repair,maintenance, retooling,rest,etc.,and the bad guys,who don't accept Say's law as the general case,but only as a special case operating only when economies are on the boundaries of both their static(short run)and dynamic(long run)production possibilities curves with an optimal stock of capital goods.The bad guys are the mercantilists,Sir James Steuart,Sismondi,Malthus,Marx,the laterJohn S Mills, the later Marshall,Veblen,and Keynes.The good guys are Smith,Bentham,James Mills,Say,Ricardo,Senior,Pigou,Robertson,Kalecki,Friedman and Modigliani.I will concentrate on covering some of the errors of ommission and commission made, with respect to the work of Keynes in the General Theory(1936),by Niehans throughout his book.The first incorrect assessment of Keynes's work is the claim that Keynes based his model in the GT on the assumption of rigid money wages(See Niehans,pp.114,350,353,355,356,471 for a few examples).Nowhere in the GT does Keynes assume money wages are rigid except as a simplification in the early chapters of the GT.Keynes assumed that short run money wages were held constant.Note also that prices are fully flexible in all chapters of the GT.Read more ›
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