) which school of thought or idea has interested you the most, 2) who opposed this idea or school of thought and why, and 3) what should economists learn from this particular history of their science.
For example, the issue of harmony is an important point. The physiocrats suggested that
countries did not have to be run by an aristocracy, unleashing the power of the market would work. Smith developed this idea, but people like Marx and Robert Owen showed that a completely free market would also coexist with gross abuses, something that cannot be described as harmony. A standard “B” paper would specifies how each side (insert your favorite pro-market and anti-market economists) thought that they would best achieve harmony. A successful paper would contrast two schools of thought or economists and then offer the lessons we should take away from that conflict. See examples of “A” papers posted as part of the assignment on Canvas.
The course paper will be formatted according to standard journal format (Chicago, MLA, APA) and have 5 sections. For example, the first section of the paper will be an introduction giving your reasons that the idea is interesting and summarizing the supporting arguments offered in the paper and how they contribute to a thesis statement, the second section will contain the development of a economic idea and its importance for thinking about an issue, the third section will discuss how this idea has been approached in the past in some different and conflicting way, the fourth section will discuss how modern economists can learn from the mistakes of the past by studying the history of an idea. The concluding section will summarize the thrust of the argument and the main theme the reader should get from reading the paper. (The final draft will be approximately 2,000 - 2,500 words)
Text to be used are
“The Evolution of Economic Thought” by Stanley Brue and Randy Grant
“The Worldly Philosophers” by Robert L Heilbroner