The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Heilbroner, Robert L. (1919–2005)

  • William Milberg
Reference work entry


Robert Heilbroner was among the most popular historians of economic thought in the 20th century and a prominent critic of neoclassical economics and free-market capitalism. His The Worldly Philosophers explained how the great economists struggled to understand Western capitalism’s rapid economic growth and accompanying inequities and social tensions. Heilbroner’s probing ‘scenarios’ of capitalism’s future drew mainly from the works of Smith, Marx and Schumpeter. His insistence that economic issues are integrally tied to moral and psychological concerns gave his work a rare depth and spoke to the political nature of all social thought.


Budget deficits Capital accumulation Capital budgeting Capitalism Economic determinism Globalization Heilbroner, R. History of economic thought Labour power Lowe, A. Marx’s analysis of capitalist production Neoclassical economics Private property Profit Schumpeter, J. Smith, A. Socialism Wage relation 

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  1. Schumpeter, J. 1954. History of Economic Analysis. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Milberg
    • 1
  1. 1.