Neoclassical Economics and Its Opponents: What Even Is ‘Mainstream’?
Why do economics departments teach the theories they teach today? And how do these theories impact the real world? This course surveys the historical development of the economics discipline with a focus on those schools of thought that contested what is now mainstream economics. After a brief history of neoclassical economics, we will examine a few of its challengers: institutional economics, Keynesianism, and behavioral economics. We will discuss how their theories differ from neoclassicism, and their influence on US economic policy at several moments in the twentieth century. Course focuses on understanding theory by reading works by influential economists throughout the history of economics.