Economics and the Historian
Publication Year: 1996
The combined research experience of these authors encompasses many varieties of economics and covers a kaleidoscopic array of nations, subjects, and time periods. All are expert in presenting the insights and complexities of economics to nonspecialist audiences.
Published by: University of California Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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List of Tables and Figures
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This volume evolved from papers and discussion at a workshop and con-ference, Economic Methods for Chinese Historical Research, sponsoredby the Henry Luce Foundation, the American Council of Learned Soci-eties, and the National Science Foundation and held in Honolulu, Hawaiiin January 1987 and Oracle, Arizona in January 1988. In the 1987...
Economics and the Historian
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We aim to broaden and deepen the exchange of ideas between econo-mists and historians. Our specific purpose is to show how to apply thecore ideas and methods of economics to a wide range of historical issues.Historians who neglect economics can lose sight of factors that affectevery historical situation. Saints and sinners, elites and masses, rich and...
Issues in the Study of Economic Trends
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Investigation of economic trends occupies an important position in his-torical research. Did prices or output of particular commodities or servicesor broad aggregates rise, fall, or remain constant over various periods?Can we detect substantial change in levels of economic welfare, distribu-tion of income and wealth, degree of commercialization, patterns of crop-...
Institutions and Economic Analysis
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To the economist, institutions represent efficient ways of organizinghuman activity where markets alone will not suffice. To understand whyinstitutions are often required to supplement or even replace markets, itis necessary to begin with a brief sketch of two abstract models of howa decentralized market economy works, one the general competitive...
Labor Economics and the Historian
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Clio and Hades, two erudite and eminent professors of History and Eco-nomics., respectively, often discuss the relative merits of their disciplinesover coffee. We transcribed, annotated, and added references to oneCLIO: I just finished reading Alice Kessler-Harris's A Woman's Wage (1990).Very satisfying, I thought. She develops a historical perspective on the...
The Economics of Choice: Neoclassical Supply and Demand
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A century ago the English economist Alfred Marshall began his exposi-tion of what is now called neoclassical economics with a definition: eco-nomics, he said, is the study of humankind in the ordinary business oflife. The definition covers the non-neoclassical approaches, too—Marx-ist, Austrian, Gandhian, institutionalist. All these are part of the con-...
Macroeconomics: An Introduction for Historians
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Anyone who has made the acquaintance of the science of economicsknows she has; two faces. Each expresses its own personality. We calleconomic behavior in a small part or small sector of the economy iso-lated from the larger whole. Describing how prices are determined in themarket for rice1 or analyzing the effect of a tax on the work effort of ar-...
Money, Banking, and Inflation: An Introduction for Historians
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Most of us like a good story. This is one reason we became historians ofone sort or another. What follows is a story about the development ofthe monetary system in an imaginary economy, tracing the evolutionfrom a pure gold standard to a modern system complete with centralbank. The story is intended simply to illustrate some of the important...
International Economics and the Historian
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The international side of economics often looks like unpromising read-ing for the historian. Jargon, diagrams, and math abound, obscuring anyclear view of issues worth debating. It need not be so. International eco-nomics is no more imposing a discipline than the rest of economics. Infact, it offers a particular advantage to those historians who are excited...
Suggestions for Readings and How to Approach Them
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The readings are useful for initial excursions into the literature of economics. Eco-nomics texts and the New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics (Eatwell, Milgate,and Newman 1987) can serve as helpful sources of information on specific top-ics. Hawke 1980 is directed specifically toward historians. You might usefullyrefer to a standard introductory volume like Samuelson and Nordhaus 1985 or...
Some Advice to the Reader
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As you deepen your acquaintance with economics, some advice about ways ofapproaching the "dismal science" may be useful. Economics is above all a wayof thinking. It comes complete with its own assumptions and language. Indeed,learning economics has much in common with studying a foreign language. So,Just as beginning students of German smooth their progress by avoiding the puz-...
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Page Count: 304
Publication Year: 1996