Contributed Content (1)
Ask a Question
This is the important question Robert Heilbroner starts his famous book, "The Worldly Philosophers", with. I'd recommend this text as a companion to anyone studying this course. In short (his argument) the world before "The Economic Revolution" [Adam Smith] was largely dominated by political life. There was no such economic growth to speak of (i.e. Malthusian constraints) and the prefactory organization of labor was more dependent on the feudal relationship between serf and lord than economic dynamics of supply/demand.
I'd add (and he touches on this) the "rise in scientific curiosity". Of course the industrial revolution came only years later, the age of exploration endowed on Europe, clocks, maps, and – he notes – the windmill. Experimentation in economic theory was a natural extension of scientific innovation.
The diminished strength of ecclesiastical life also played a big role. Poverty was no longer justified. Heaven was no longer a resort. Maybe there was a growing desire to become prosperous.
Over the years, one reaction I heard frequently from my (high school) AP economics students after they understood connections between concepts, was that economics was really common sense. I suspect that meant they recognized its internal consistency and plausibility. I'm very curious about the hypothesis offered in this video that economics conflicts with established interests, and so had to struggle to develop as it evolved somewhat "on the run." Are the parts, functions, and connections of economics a reflection of 'who gets invited to the table' of economics? Could we ask, why has economics developed so fast despite the fact that it has pestered so many powerful interests?
What about economics and the scientific methods? Couldn't economic thought be slow to develop because the field is generally rough turf for application of standard scientific methodology? Control variables only rarely arise in natural experiment, and conventional morality tends to militate against setting up either control or experimental societies to test economic theories.
is the theory of suply and demand accurate? There is nothing in real life that we can say "other things being equal" . Besides we take two variables quantity and price. Is price a stable variable? In other words price or money is a quantity that changes every time and it is not have any relation with the quantity. I believe that population has relationship with quantity.