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History of Economic Thought




Admissions requirements

Principles of Economics and any 200-level economics course, or motivated students with the permission of instructor.


The course provides a thorough overview of the evolution of economic theory from its earliest formation to present day with an emphasis on the developments since Adam Smith published ‘The Wealth of Nations’ in 1776. The purpose of the course will be to develop an understanding of the interrelationships that exist between the historical context and economic theory. How did economic theory and policy evolve in response to changes in technology, market institutions, and political structures? An additional focus will be on those topics that remain relevant in our present day. The course introduces the students to different economic theories, ideologies, and concepts of great thinkers such as Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes and Friedrich Hayek.

Course objectives

Upon successfully completing the course, students will:

  • be able to describe the influence of evolving economic thought on contemporary global economics from historical and international perspectives;

  • be able to compare the evolution of economic theories, concepts and policies;

  • have acquired essential analytical tools to conduct individual research and broadly analyze how economic theory relates to practical situations;

  • be able to detect the differences between the main schools of economic thought and describe the historical debates between their advocates;

  • and be able to interpret contemporary events from the perspective of the great economic thinkers of the present and the past and write coherently about them.


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

The course uses a variety of teaching methods: interactive lecturing, student presentations, class debate and is writing-intensive.


  • Attendance and participation: 15%.

  • Seminar presentations and in-class discussions: 15%.

  • Written assignments: 30%.

  • Final written exam: 40%


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list

  • S. Pressman (2014), Fifty Major Economists, third edition, Routledge.

  • E. Hunt & M. Lautzenheiser (2011), History of Economic Thought, third edition, Taylor & Francis ltd.


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact


Bob Alberts: