A History of Economic Theory and Method:  by Robert B. Ekelund, Jr., Robert F. Hebert
733 pages, $114.95 list
1-4786-0638-X
978-1-4786-0638-3
Instructor's Manual available
A History of Economic Theory and Method
Sixth Edition
Known for its clarity, comprehensiveness, and balance, the latest edition of A History of Economic Theory and Method continues that tradition of excellence. Ekelund and Hébert’s survey provides historical and international contexts for how economic models have served social needs throughout the centuries—beginning with the ancient Greeks through the present time. The authors not only trace ideas that have persisted but skillfully demonstrate that past, discredited ideas also have a way of spawning critical thinking and encouraging new directions in economic analysis.

Coverage that distinguishes the Sixth Edition from its predecessors includes a detailed analysis of economic solutions by John Stuart Mill and Edwin Chadwick to problems raised by the Industrial Revolution; the role of psychology and “experiments” in understanding demand and consumer behavior; discussions of modern economic theory as it interrelates with other social sciences; and a close look at the historical development of the critical role of entrepreneurship, both in its productive and unproductive variants.

The authors’ creative approach gives readers a feel for the thought processes of the great minds in economics and underscores key ideas impacting contemporary thought and practice. Well-crafted discussions are further enriched by absorbing examples and figures. Thorough suggested reading lists give options for more in-depth explorations by interested readers.
Reactions
“Ekelund & Hébert have produced a well-researched and brilliantly written text. The authors are ingenious and erudite, and their text is comprehensive. They bring their supremely important, yet often neglected, subject matter to life.” — Steve H. Hanke, The Johns Hopkins University

“This text, both readable and encyclopedic, is appropriate for classes in the history of economic thought at both the undergraduate and graduate level. It is also quite useful as a reference for other economic courses.” — Ben Kyer, Francis Marion University

“I appreciate the layout of the book summary. The test bank is well written and the essay options are appropriate to the 300 level.” — Dawn Hunnicutt, Oakland City University

“I love the sixth edition’s added emphasis on entrepreneurship as the concept is incredibly important to the development of the history of economic thought, yet goes missing in many modern treatments of economics.” — Michael Clark, Hillsdale College

“I liked the text very much, as did my students. Some thought this was their favorite course in economics—owing, in part, to Ekelund & Hébert’s text. More than other books, this one invites a host of interpretations of economic phenomenon, enlivening the enterprise with biographical and historical sketches. In retrospect, I was glad to have chosen it.” — Steve Soderlind, St. Olaf College

“I have used the Ekelund-Hebert text for ten years. Each update has been an exciting improvement. This new edition’s addition of social science integration gives a robust twist to the age-old dilemma, ‘How do we choose?’” — Charles Starnes, Wayland Baptist University
Table of Contents
1. Economics and Its History
What Is the Value of Studying the History of Economics? / Aim, Scope, and Method / Suggestions on How to Use This Book / Other Useful Resources and Information

Part I: PRECLASSICAL ECONOMICS

2. Ancient and Medieval Economic Thought and Institutions
Contributions of the Ancient Greeks / Roman and Early Christian Contributions / Chinese Economics in the First Millennium / Medieval Arab-Islamic Economics / Medieval European Economic Thought / Theory Meets History: Economic Impact of the Medieval Church / Conclusion

3. Mercantilism
Mercantilism as Doctrine: The Economics of Nationalism / Mercantilism as an Economic Process / Transition to Liberalism / Conclusion

4. The Dawn of Capitalism
Sir William Petty / Nascent Liberalism in France: Boisguilbert, Cantillon, and the Physiocrats / Richard Cantillon / The Spanish Enlightenment: Iberian Economics / Capitalism at the Junction of Ideas and History / The Decline of Catholicism and the Rise of Protestantism / Conclusion

Part II: THE CLASSICAL PERIOD

5. Adam Smith: System Builder
The Nature of Smith's Economic System / Microeconomic Foundations of The Wealth of Nations / Smith's Macroeconomics: Blueprint for Economic Growth / Conclusion

6. Classical Economics (I): Utility, Population, and Money
Jeremy Bentham and Utilitarianism / Thomas Robert Malthus and Population / Early Monetary Issues / Classical Economics and the Generators of Trade and Value / Conclusion

7. Classical Economics (II): The Ricardian System and Its Critics
The Classical Doctrine of Land Rent / The Ricardian System / The Ricardo-Malthus Correspondence / Nassau Senior and the Emergence of "Scientific" Economics / The Supremacy of Ricardian Economics / The Elegant Dynamics of the Classical System

8. Classical Economics (III): John Stuart Mill
Mill's Intellectual Transition / The Structure of Mill's Economic Inquiry / Mill's Theoretical Advances / Mill's Normative Economics / Mill and the Decline of Classical Economics / Entrepreneurism at the Classical Summit / Conclusion

Part III: RESPONSES TO THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION—ORTHODOX AND HETERODOX

9. Economic Policy in the Classical Period: Technology, Labor, and Poverty
The "Real World" of Classical Economics / Income Distribution in England / Early Reforms: The Poor Laws and Factory Acts / Labor as a Utilitarian Policy Issue / The Big Question: Can the Poor Be Lifted out of Poverty? / Technology, Labor, and Poverty: Classical Perspectives / Conclusion

10. J. S. Mill and Edwin Chadwick on Taxation and Public Economics
Social and Economic Policies of J. S. Mill / The Political Economy of Sir Edwin Chadwick / Conclusion

11. Nineteenth-Century Heterodox Economic Thought
Romanticism / European Evolutionary Thought / The Utopian Socialists / German Historicism / Heterodoxy and Entrepreneurism / Conclusion

12. Karl Marx: Historical Determinism vs. Utopian Socialism
Overview of the Marxian System / Marx's Early Writings on Capitalist Production / The Nature of Capitalism / Conclusion

Part IV: THE NEOCLASSICAL ERA

13. Proto-Neoclassical Economics in France: Cournot and Dupuit
A. A. Cournot (1801–1877) / Jules Dupuit (1804–1866) / Engineers and Cross-Fertilization of Economic Ideas / Conclusion

14. Microeconomics in Germany and Austria: Menger, Wieser, and Böhm-Bawerk
German Proto-Neoclassicists / Carl Menger (1840–1921) / Friedrich von Wieser (1851–1926) / Eugen Böhm-Bawerk (1851–1914) / Entrepreneurism in German and Austrian Economics / Conclusion

15. Microeconomics in England and America: W. S. Jevons and J. B. Clark
W. S. Jevons / Jevons's Theory of Value / Jevon as a Pure Theorist / Jevons and Statistical Science / Jevons and the International Spread of Economic Ideas / John Bates Clark and Marginalism in America / Assessing Clark's Contribution / Clark on Entrepreneurship / Conclusion

16. Alfred Marshall and the Neoclassical Synthesis
Marshall and His Method / Industry Supply and the Economics of Production / Demand and Consumer Surplus / Marshall on Optimum Pricing and Monopoly / Marshall on Elasticity, Factor Demand, and Optimum Resource Allocation / Marshall on Capital and Entrepreneurship / Conclusion

17. The Mantle of Léon Walras
Contrasts between Marshall's and Walras's Approaches / Léon Walras: Sketch of His Life and Work / Walras and Marshall on the Market Adjustment Mechanism / The Role of the Entrepreneur in Walarsian Economics / Pareto, General Equilibrium, and Welfare Economics / Walras's Correspondence and Its Impact on Economics / Conclusion

18. Hegemony of Neoclassical Economics
The Proto-Neoclassicists before 1870 / Lessons to Be Learned / What Did Marshall Know and Where Did He Learn It? / Conclusion

Part V: TWENTIETH-CENTURY PARADIGMS

19. British Historicism, Thorstein Veblen, and American Institutional Economics
Nineteenth-Century British Historicism / Thorstein Veblen and American Institutionalism / Second- and Third-Generation Veblenians / John Kenneth Galbraith: The Institutionalists' Popularizer / Conclusion

20. Competition Revised: Chamberlin and Robinson
Duopoly Analysis / Chamberlin's Quest for a New Theory / Joan Robinson and Imperfect Competition / Knight, Chamberlin, Robinson, and Entrepreneurism / Conclusion

21. John Maynard Keynes and the Development of Modern Macroeconomics
Overview of Keynes and His Economics / J. M. Keynes, Dilettante and Economic Theorist / Theoretical Outline of the General Theory / Paradigm Shift or Paradigm Realignment? / Conclusion

22. Contemporary Macroeconomics: Monetarism and Rational Expectations
Monetary Theory Goes Neoclassical / Modern Monetarism: Theory and Policy / Conclusion

23. Austrian Economics
The Gestalt of Austrian Economics / Ludwig von Mises: The Theory of Money and Credit / F. A. Hayek and the Theory of Business Cycles / Joseph Schumpeter on Competition, Dynamics, and Growth / Competition and the Market Process / Advertising and Demand Discovery / The Socialist Calculation Debate / Conclusion

24. The New Political Economy: Public Choice and Regulation
Public Choice / The New Political Economy of Regulation / Conclusion

Part VI: BACK TO THE FUTURE: The Twenty-First Century

25. Mathematical and Empirical Economics: A Method Revolution
History and Development of Mathematical Economics / Common Mathematical Tools Used in Economics / Cournot's Heirs: Applications of Mathematics to Economic Ideas / Empiricism in Economics: Testing Economic Theory / Conclusion

26. Changing the Boundaries of Microeconomics: Demand, Consumption, and "Rationality"
Modern Consumption Technology / New Theories of the Firm / Nontraditional Approaches: Prospect Theory, Happiness Theory, and Neuroscience / Conclusion

27. The Resurgence of Economics as a Social Science
Economics and Sociology / Economics and Art / Economics and Religion / Economics and Archaeology / Economics and Politics / Conclusion

28. Quo Vadis?: Economics in the Twenty-First Century
Nobel Laureates and Economics / The Transition of Ideas and the New "Technology" of Economics / Ideas, Ideology, and History / Does Method Matter? / Is Schism in the Cards for Economics?