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The Evolution of Economics: Where We are and How We Got Here

Long Term View, Vol. 7 No. 1, 2008

9 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2010 Last revised: 27 Feb 2012

Peter J. Boettke

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Peter T. Leeson

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Daniel J. Smith

Sorrell College of Business, Troy University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

This paper suggests that contemporary economics is characterized by three key features. First, it is focused on "big questions" in political economy and is willing to look outside economics to search for these questions and their answers. Second, contemporary economics is empirically focused. "Grand theory" has taken a back seat to empirical explorations of institutions in particular. Third, modern economics has been dramatically influenced by "freakonomics" - the application of economic principles to unusual and unorthodox topics - and is increasingly directed at a popular lay audience. We argue that these particular areas of modern economics’ evolution are not unrelated. The development of each key feature is connected to the others.

Keywords: Evolution of Economics, Economic Methodology, History of Economic Thought

JEL Classification: B41, B52, N01

Suggested Citation

Boettke, Peter J. and Leeson, Peter T. and Smith, Daniel J., The Evolution of Economics: Where We are and How We Got Here (2008). Long Term View, Vol. 7 No. 1, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1696108

Peter J. Boettke (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
703-993-1149 (Phone)
703-993-1133 (Fax)

Peter T. Leeson

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.peterleeson.com

Daniel J. Smith

Sorrell College of Business, Troy University ( email )

137 Bibb Graves Hall
Troy, AL 36082
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.danieljosephsmith.com/

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