History of Economic Thought (ECOS3004)


Where do the current beliefs - theories, doctrines, postulates and attitudes - of modern economics come from? If current theories and doctrines have a definite historical beginning, what schools of thought did they supplant? Are there alternative or dissident views which subsisted alongside mainstream economics in the twentieth century - and if so, what are they and where did they originate from? This unit seeks to answer these questions, as well as others. It provides an overview of the development of economic ideas from the seventeenth to the twentieth century, combined with a more intensive focus on the thought of certain key figures in that history. The particular topics covered include: the formation of economics to 1776; Adam Smith; classical economics from Smith to J.S. Mill; the rise of marginalist economics; John Maynard Keynes; and orthodox and heterodox currents in twentieth century economics.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


1x2hr lecture/week, 1x1hr tutorial/week


Essay (20%), Mid-semester test (30%) and 70min Final exam (50%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Prerequisites and assumed knowledge

ECOS2001 or ECOS2901 or ECOS2002 or ECOS2902 or ECOP2011 or ECOP2001 or ECOP2012 or ECOP2002

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.