ECON 5110 — Reading List: Before the Nineteenth Century

1. Ancient and Medieval Economic Thought.

1.1 Economic History.

Engen, Darel. “The Economy of Ancient Greece,” EH.Net Encyclopedia, edited by Robert Whaples. July 31, 2004.

Rondo Cameron and Larry Neal, A Concise Economic History of the World. New York: Oxford University Press, 4th edition, 2002, chapter 3.

1.2 Primary Sources.

Plato, The Republic.  Trans. Allan Bloom.  New York: Basic Books, second edition, 1968.

Aristotle, Politics, books I and II; Nicomachian Ethics, book V.

Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, second part of the second part, questions LXXVII and LXXVIII.

1.3 Secondary Sources.

Karl Popper, The Open Society and its Enemies  (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1966, vol 1), especially chapters 6 and 8.

Joel Kaye, A History of Balance  (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014), esp. chapters 1 and 2.

Video: scholastic reasoning.

2. Mercantilism.

2.1 Economic History.

Video: Mercantilism.

Rondo Cameron and Larry Neal, A Concise Economic History of the World. New York: Oxford University Press, 4th edition, 2002, chapter 6.

Nathan Rosenberg and L. E. Birdzell, Jr., How the West Grew Rich (New York: Basic Books, 1986), chapter 6.

2.2 Primary Sources.

Edward Misselden, Free Trade or, The Meanes to Make Trade Florish (1622).

Gerard de Malynes, The Maintenance of Free Trade (1622).

Thomas Mun, England's Treasure by Forraign Trade (c. 1630).

Richard Cantillon, Essay on the Nature of Commerce in General (c. 1730).

2.3 Secondary Sources.

Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, Book IV.

Henry William Spiegel, The Growth of Economic Thought (Durham: Duke University Press, 1991, third edition), chapter 5.

Barry Baysinger, Robert B. Ekelund, and Robert D. Tollison, "Mercantilism as a Rent-Seeking Society," in James M. Buchanan, Robert D. Tollison, and Gordon Tullock. eds., Toward a Theory of the Rent-Seeking Society (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1980), pp. 235-286.

Tyler Cowen, "Introduction to Mercantilism," Marginal Revolution University video.

3. Adam Smith and the Scottish Enlightenment.

3.1 Economic History.

Video: The Industrial Revolution.

3.2 Primary Sources.

David Hume, Political Discourses (1752), especially Of Money,” “Of the Balance of Trade,” and “Of the Jealousy of Trade.”

Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Book I (all, though you can skip the lengthy "digression on silver"); Book II, especially chapters I, III, and V.

3.3 Secondary Sources.

Edward Ames and Nathan Rosenberg, "The Progressive Division and Specialization of Industries," The Journal of Development Studies 1(4): 363-383 (1965).

G. B. Richardson, "Adam Smith on Competition and Increasing Returns," in Andrew S. Skinner and Thomas Wilson, eds., Essays on Adam Smith. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975.

Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution videos on Adam Smith.