American Academic Public Finance: The First Fifty Years
“Progressivism and Academic Public Finance, 1880 to 1930,” History of Political Economy 46 (1), 2014: 1 – 32.
33 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2010 Last revised: 22 Jul 2018
Date Written: December 9, 2010
This paper examines the institutionalization of public finance as a subfield of economics in American universities from the founding of professional academic economics departments in the 1880’s through the eve of the Great Depression. To do so, we examine the development of a community of scholars recognized as specialists in public finance and the professionalization of public finance as a distinct field within economics. This includes examination of the subject’s definition, its boundaries, and the types of analyses undertaken. Academic training, including courses and readings, at Columbia, Chicago, Harvard, and Wisconsin are compared.
Keywords: Public Finance, American Universities, E.R.A. Seligman, Richard T. Ely
JEL Classification: B15, B25
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation