ECO197H1: Seminar on Classical Economic Thought


This seminar examines the basic ideas of the five most notable economic thinkers before 1870: Aristotle, Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, David Ricardo, and Karl Marx. We focus on demand as the basis of price in Aristotle; the ambiguity in Smith between a labour theory of value and a demand/supply theory of value; the principle of population in Malthus; Ricardo’s labour theory of value and his theory of rent and economic growth; and Marx’s labour theory of value as the explanation for the development of capital. The understanding in these authors of economics as an historical process of production gives fascinating insights into modern economic development that contrast with the modern economic concentration on the distribution of resources in a world of scarcity. Restricted to first-year students. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

Society and its Institutions (3)