Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE History of Economic Thought

LEVEL 04 - Years 4, 5 in Modular UG or PG Cert Course



DESCRIPTION This study-unit is designed to provide an introduction to the contributions of major economic thinkers of the West. Students will examine the origins of ideas that continue to support the framework of economic theory. In addition, the course will highlight reasons for controversies which have arisen among economists as the discipline evolved. Economic theories can into being in an eco-system and a particular context and it is therefore important for students to be aware of how and why economists developed their theories in response to the changing environment they operated in. students will consider various ideas as their originators first presented them; and they will also follow the impact of those ideas as they were applied and developed by others. As part of this endeavor, students will explore the historical circumstances under which theories arose. The relationship between the thinker and his subject of inquiry is a dominant theme of the study-unit.

Study-unit Aims:

Each strand of economic thinking can be linked to history and this study-unit enhances one's understanding of contemporary economic thought. To quote the economist Mark Blaug, "contemporary theory wears the scars of yesterday's problems now resolved, yesterday's blunders now corrected, and cannot be fully understood except as a legacy handed down from the past."

The second aim is that despite vast amount of research and analysis, there are still several unresolved questions in economics. This study-unit will be useful to understand and answer these questions.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Understand the link between history and contemporary economic thought;
- Gain perspective about our past and understand how changing ideas and problems develop over time;
- Appreciate that no school of thought or group of people has a monopoly on the truth.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to think critically and analyse the current economic environment in the light of existing theories.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Brue, S and Grant R, The Evolution of Economic Thought.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 20%
Examination (1 Hour) SEM2 Yes 80%

LECTURER/S Gilmour Camilleri
Philip Von Brockdorff

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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.