On History of Economic Thought

Economics has been getting more mathematical with the passage of time. Students opt for maximum papers in mathematics so that they can remain competitive academically at the international level.

Stark inequalities are present in the syllabi within India. In the South, the undergraduate degree does not lay much of emphasis on mathematics in comparison to the North, where the emphasis on mathematics is very high. One reason is that, in the South a degree is Economics is considered as one of the Arts subject, while in the North it is transitioning into a Science subject.

This affects the discipline of Economics. In certain areas of Economics, it requires analysis which needs the use of mathematics; but is it that Economics requires mathematics in all areas’ But again, this depends on if one views Economics as a Positive or a Normative discipline.

Axel Leijonhufvud writes in his paper The Uses of the Past– The history of economic thought used to be part of the graduate studies in economics. Sixty or seventy years ago, it was common of famous teachers like Lionel Robbins or Jacob Viner to approach economic theory by way of its development. Today, of course, this is seen as an archaic way of going about it and it has become quite uncommon. The history of thought is still a tolerated subject-in at least a few places- but not one to be studied to improve ones understanding of today’s economics. [Via: New Economist]

For those who want to have a deeper understanding of the discipline of Economics, learning the history of economic thought will prove to be highly beneficial. It will help in understanding how the dominant theories came by and how the theories get refuted. When history of economic thought is aided with economic history, it will provide a clearer understanding of economics to the student.


1) The Uses of the Past, Axel Leijonhufvud, December 2006.

Further Readings

1) History of Economic Thought

2) History of Economics Society

3) History of Economic Thought Website

Author: Alex M Thomas

A passionate student of economics!

7 thoughts on “On History of Economic Thought”

  1. Alex I am here!!!!


    interesting comparison that. I did not know. I had History of Economic Thought as my first paper in graduation. And I enjoyed it a lot.

  2. heyyyy ……… Economics has loadsa statistics involed too, so its not just math right.

    thnks for the links…

    i dono how 2 make a smiley hehe ..


  3. A mathematician, a theoretical economist and an econometrician are asked to find a black cat (who doesn’t really exist) in a closed room with the lights off:
    – The mathematician gets crazy trying to find a black cat that doesn’t exist inside the darkened room and ends up in a psychiatric hospital.
    – The theoretical economist is unable to catch the black cat that doesn’t exist inside the darkened room, but exits the room proudly proclaiming that he can construct a model to describe all his movements with extreme accuracy.
    – The econometrician walks securely into the darkened room, spend one hour looking for the black cat that doesn’t exits and shouts from inside the room that he has it catched by the neck.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.