The History of American Economics

Entry for A Companion to the History of American Science, edited by Mark A. Largent. John Wiley & Sons, expected 2015.

31 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2014

See all articles by Ross B. Emmett

Ross B. Emmett

Arizona State University (ASU) - Center for the Study of Economic Liberty; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

Date Written: October 15, 2014

Abstract

Economics today is a model building and testing science. But scientific economics was not always understood in terms of models. Economics first emerged as a separate field of scientific study in post-bellum America. The laissez-faire orientation of early American moral philosophy gave way to social reforms informed by the historical/institutional examination of the sources of rapid change in the American economy. Early professionalization occurred within the context of the debate laissez-faire theorists and Progressives, leaving early twentieth century American economics a conflicted pluralism, with a nascent neoclassical theory tradition competing with institutionalism and the slow emergence of Keynesianism. The shift to model building occurred behind the scenes of the debates between vestiges of institutionalism, the Keynesian synthesis, and the Chicago School. By the end of the twentieth century, all economists, regardless of policy orientation, were modelers.

Keywords: clerical laissez-faire, institutionalism, Keynesian synthesis, Chicago School, neoclassical theory, model building

JEL Classification: B1, B15, B2, B20, B23, B25

Suggested Citation

Emmett, Ross B., The History of American Economics (October 15, 2014). Entry for A Companion to the History of American Science, edited by Mark A. Largent. John Wiley & Sons, expected 2015.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2520426

Ross B. Emmett (Contact Author)

Arizona State University (ASU) - Center for the Study of Economic Liberty ( email )

CPCOMM 4th Floor
United States

PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

2048 Analysis Drive
Suite A
Bozeman, MT 59718
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
171
rank
171,032
Abstract Views
547
PlumX Metrics