Building Chicago Economics: New Perspectives on the History of America's Most Powerful Economics Program

Building Chicago Economics: New Perspectives on the History of America's Most Powerful Economics Program

Hardback Historical Perspectives on Modern Economics

Edited by Rob Van Horn, Edited by Philip Mirowski, Edited by Thomas A. Stapleford

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  • Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Format: Hardback | 454 pages
  • Dimensions: 173mm x 244mm x 28mm | 1,134g
  • Publication date: 17 October 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 1107013410
  • ISBN 13: 9781107013414
  • Illustrations note: 1 b/w illus. 3 tables
  • Sales rank: 1,358,553

Product description

Over the past forty years, economists associated with the University of Chicago have won more than one-third of the Nobel prizes awarded in their discipline and have been major influences on American public policy. Building Chicago Economics presents the first collective attempt by social science historians to chart the rise and development of the Chicago School during the decades that followed the Second World War. Drawing on new research in published and archival sources, contributors examine the people, institutions and ideas that established the foundations for the success of Chicago economics and thereby positioned it as a powerful and controversial force in American political and intellectual life.

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Author information

Robert Van Horn is Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Rhode Island. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Notre Dame in 2007 and was a Postdoctoral Associate at the Center for the History of Political Economy at Duke University in 2008-9. His published work on the history of the Chicago School comprises two chapters in Philip Mirowski and Dieter Plehwe's The Road from Mont Pelerin: Making of the Neoliberal Thought Collective (2009) and two articles in Ross Emmett's The Elgar Companion to the Chicago School of Economics (2010). Professor Van Horn has also published in History of Political Economy, the Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology and Social Studies of Science. Philip Mirowski is Carl Koch Professor of Economics and the History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Notre Dame. His areas of specialization are in the history and philosophy of economics and the politics and economics of knowledge, with subsidiary areas in evolutionary computational economics, the economics of science and technological change, science studies and the history of the natural sciences. His most recent books include The Effortless Economy of Science (2004, winner of the Ludwig Fleck Prize from the Society for the Social Studies of Science), Machine Dreams (Cambridge University Press, 2001) and ScienceMart (2011), and he edited Agreement on Demand (2006), Science Bought and Sold (2001) and The Road from Mont Pelerin (2009). His landmark book More Heat than Light (Cambridge University Press, 1989) has been translated into French (2001). He has been the recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright program and New York University and was elected visiting Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford. He was elected President of the History of Economics Society for 2011. Thomas Stapleford is Associate Professor in the Program of Liberal Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University in 2003, where he studied the history of the social sciences. His dissertation, revised and published as The Cost of Living in America: A Political History of Economic Statistics, 1880-2000 (Cambridge University Press, 2009), won the Joseph Dorfman Best Dissertation Award from the History of Economics Society in 2004. Professor Stapleford was a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Cambridge, MA, in 2008-9. He has published articles on economic statistics and political economy in a variety of journals and is currently working on a history of family economics, the first effort by economists to make empirical studies of household life.

Review quote

'Building Chicago Economics brings together some of the best minds in the history of economic thought to offer a most valuable assessment of the science and politics of Chicago economists in the postwar period. A real page turner, this multifaceted and wonderfully researched volume reveals the continuities and discontinuities of Chicago economics over time, the ideological and methodological conflicts among its members, their domestic and international influence, and the struggles of a putative 'school' with the rest of the profession. It is a major, and much needed, contribution to the history and sociology of modern economics.' Marion Fourcade, University of California, Berkeley 'The Chicago School of Economics defined itself against institutional and historical approaches to economic thought, but the deeply researched essays in this collection do a tremendous service by bringing those very methodologies to bear on the rise of the Chicago tradition.' Kimberly K. Phillips-Fein, New York University 'This is an excellent collection of essays: it is an important addition to the previous work of Van Horn and Mirowski on the early development of Chicago neoliberalism, and a significant contribution to the literature on post-1945 American economics. Taken together these essays reveal a great deal concerning the institutional foundations of Chicago economics, its development and variation over time and persons, and its explicit policy orientation. Most of all, the book contains an extended discussion of the key issue of the relationship between Chicago economics and neoliberal ideological commitments.' Malcolm Rutherford, University of Victoria, Canada 'Rashomon in the great beating heartland of the Midwest! These essays offer one valuable perspective on the goings-on in and around the economics department of the University of Chicago in the years since the end of World War II. There are other accounts of those developments, and will be still more. This book is a vivid reminder of why we all like mystery stories.' David Warsh, economicprincipals.com

Table of contents

Blueprints Robert Van Horn, Philip Mirowski and Thomas Stapleford; Orientation: finding the Chicago School Jaime Peck; Part I. Economics Built for Policy: The Legacy of Milton Friedman: 1. Positive economics for democratic policy: Milton Friedman, institutionalism, and the science of history Thomas Stapleford; 2. Markets, politics, and democracy at Chicago: taking economics seriously J. Daniel Hammond; Part II. Constructing the Institutional Foundations of the Chicago School: 3. The price is not right: Theodore W. Schultz, policy planning, and agricultural economics in the cold-war United States Paul Burnett; 4. Sharpening tools in the workshop: the workshop system and the Chicago School's success Ross B. Emmett; 5. George Stigler, the graduate school of business, and the pillars of the Chicago School Edward Nik-Khah; Part III. Imperial Chicago: 6. Chicago price theory and Chicago law and economics: a tale of two transitions Steven Medema; 7. Intervening in laissez-faire liberalism: Chicago's shift on patents Robert Van Horn and Matthias Klaes; 8. Allusions to evolution: edifying evolutionary biology rather than economic theory Jack Vromen; 9. On the origins (at Chicago) of some species of evolutionary economics Philip Mirowski; Part IV. Debating Chicago Neoliberalism: 10. Jacob Viner's critique of Chicago neoliberalism Robert Van Horn; 11. The Chicago School, Hayek, and neoliberalism Bruce Caldwell; 12. The lucky consistency of Milton Friedman's science and politics, 1933-63 Beatrice Cherrier; 13. Far right of the midway: Chicago neoliberalism and the genesis of the Milton Friedman Institute (2006-9) Edward Nik-Khah.