Handbook of the History of Economic Thought

Insights on the Founders of Modern Economics

  • Jürgen Georg Backhaus

Part of the The European Heritage in Economics and the Social Sciences book series (EHES, volume 11)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Jürgen G. Backhaus
    Pages 1-6
  3. Helge Peukert
    Pages 93-121
  4. Lluis Argemí d’Abadal
    Pages 137-159
  5. Andrew S. Skinner
    Pages 161-171
  6. Arnold Heertje
    Pages 173-177
  7. Christos P. Baloglou
    Pages 279-297
  8. Helge Peukert
    Pages 323-350
  9. Jan van Daal
    Pages 369-388
  10. Christos P. Baloglou
    Pages 437-463
  11. J. A. Hans Maks, Jan van Daal
    Pages 465-494
  12. Earl Beach
    Pages 495-512
  13. Richard E. Wagner
    Pages 513-525
  14. Helge Peukert
    Pages 527-564
  15. Royall Brandis
    Pages 625-639
  16. Hans-Joachim Stadermann, Otto Steiger
    Pages 641-666
  17. Hans-Joachim Stadermann, Otto Steiger
    Pages 667-687
  18. Gerrit Meijer
    Pages 689-711
  19. Back Matter
    Pages 713-728

About this book


This reader in the history of economic thought challenges the assumption that today’s prevailing economic theories are always the most appropriate ones. As Leland Yeager has pointed out, unlike the scientists of the natural sciences, economists provide their ideas largely to politicians and political appointees who have rather different incentives that might prevent them from choosing the best economic theory.  In this book, the life and work of each of the founders of economics is examined by the best available expert on that founding figure.  These contributors present rather novel and certainly not mainstream interpretations of the founders of modern economics.


The primary theme concerns the development of economic thought as this emerged in the various continental traditions including the Islamic tradition.  These continental traditions differed substantially, both substantively and methodologically, from the Anglo-Saxon orientation that has been dominant in the last century for example in the study of public finance or the very construct of the state itself.  This books maps the various channels of continental economics, particularly from the late-18th through the early-20th centuries, explaining and demonstrating the underlying unity amid the surface diversity.  In particular, the book emphasizes the writings of John Stuart Mill, his predecessor David Ricardo and his follower Jeremy Bentham; the theory of Marginalism by von Thünen, Cournot, and Gossen; the legacy of Karl Marx; the innovations in developmental economics by Friedrich List; the economic and monetary contributions and “struggle of escape” by John Maynard Keynes;  the formidable theory in public finance and economics by Joseph Schumpeter; a reinterpretation of Alfred Marshall; Léon Walras, Heinrich von Stackelberg, Knut Wicksell, Werner Sombart, and Friedrich August von Hayek are each dealt with in their own right.


Adam Smith Economists Founders History of Economic Thought John Maynard Keynes John Stuart Mill Joseph Schumpeter Karl Marx

Editors and affiliations

  • Jürgen Georg Backhaus
    • 1
  1. 1.Fak. Staatswissenschaften, Lehrst. Finanzwissenschaft/Universität ErfurtErfurtGermany

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Business and Economics
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4419-8335-0
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4419-8336-7
  • Buy this book on publisher's site