In the history of economic thought, a school of economic thought is a group of economic thinkers who share or shared a common perspective on the way economies work. While economists do not always fit into particular schools, particularly in modern times, classifying economists into schools of thought is common. Economic thought may be roughly divided into three phases: premodern (Greco-Roman, Indian, Persian, Islamic, and Imperial Chinese), early modern (mercantilist, physiocrats) and modern (beginning with Adam Smith and classical economics in the late 18th century). Systematic economic theory has been developed mainly since the beginning of what is termed the modern era.
Currently, the great majority of economists follow an approach referred to as mainstream economics (sometimes called 'orthodox economics'). Within the mainstream in the United States, distinctions can be made between the Saltwater school (associated with Cornell, Berkeley, Harvard, MIT, Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Yale), and the more laissez-faire ideas of the Freshwater school (represented by the Chicago school of economics, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Rochester and the University of Minnesota). Both of these schools of thought are associated with the neoclassical synthesis.
Some influential approaches of the past, such as the historical school of economics and institutional economics, have become defunct or have declined in influence, and are now considered heterodox approaches. Other longstanding heterodox schools of economic thought include Austrian economics and Marxian economics. Some more recent developments in economic thought such as feminist economics and ecological economics adapt and critique mainstream approaches with an emphasis on particular issues rather than developing as independent schools.
Islamic economics is the practice of economics in accordance with Islamic law. The origins can be traced back to the Caliphate, where an early market economy and some of the earliest forms of merchant capitalism took root between the 8th–12th centuries, which some refer to as "Islamic capitalism".
Islamic economics seeks to enforce Islamic regulations not only on personal issues, but to implement broader economic goals and policies of an Islamic society, based on uplifting the deprived masses. It was founded on free and unhindered circulation of wealth so as to handsomely reach even the lowest echelons of society. One distinguishing feature is the tax on wealth (in the form of both Zakat and Jizya), and bans levying taxes on all kinds of trade and transactions (Income/Sales/Excise/Import/Export duties etc.). Another distinguishing feature is prohibition of interest in the form of excess charged while trading in money. Its pronouncement on use of paper currency also stands out. Though promissory notes are recognized, they must be fully backed by reserves. Fractional-reserve banking is disallowed as a form of breach of trust.
It saw innovations such as trading companies, big businesses, contracts, bills of exchange, long-distance international trade, the first forms of partnership (mufawada) such as limited partnerships (mudaraba), and the earliest forms of credit, debt, profit, loss, capital (al-mal), capital accumulation (nama al-mal), circulating capital, capital expenditure, revenue, cheques, promissory notes, trusts (see Waqf), startup companies, savings accounts, transactional accounts, pawning, loaning, exchange rates, bankers, money changers, ledgers, deposits, assignments, the double-entry bookkeeping system, lawsuits, and agency institution.
This school has seen a revived interest in development and understanding since the later part of the 20th century.
Economic policy in Europe during the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance treated economic activity as a good which was to be taxed to raise revenues for the nobility and the church. Economic exchanges were regulated by feudal rights, such as the right to collect a toll or hold a faire, as well as guild restrictions and religious restrictions on lending. Economic policy, such as it was, was designed to encourage trade through a particular area. Because of the importance of social class, sumptuary laws were enacted, regulating dress and housing, including allowable styles, materials and frequency of purchase for different classes. Niccolò Machiavelli in his book The Prince was one of the first authors to theorize economic policy in the form of advice. He did so by stating that princes and republics should limit their expenditures and prevent either the wealthy or the populace from despoiling the other. In this way a state would be seen as "generous" because it was not a heavy burden on its citizens.
The Physiocrats were 18th century French economists who emphasized the importance of productive work, and particularly agriculture, to an economy's wealth. Their early support of free trade and deregulation influenced Adam Smith and the classical economists.
Classical economics, also called classical political economy, was the original form of mainstream economics of the 18th and 19th centuries. Classical economics focuses on the tendency of markets to move to equilibrium and on objective theories of value. Neo-classical economics differs from classical economics primarily in being utilitarian in its value theory and using marginal theory as the basis of its models and equations. Marxian economics also descends from classical theory. Anders Chydenius (1729–1803) was the leading classical liberal of Nordic history. Chydenius, who was a Finnish priest and member of parliament, published a book called The National Gain in 1765, in which he proposes ideas of freedom of trade and industry and explores the relationship between economy and society and lays out the principles of liberalism, all of this eleven years before Adam Smith published a similar and more comprehensive book, The Wealth of Nations. According to Chydenius, democracy, equality and a respect for human rights were the only way towards progress and happiness for the whole of society.
The American School owes its origin to the writings and economic policies of Alexander Hamilton, the first Treasury Secretary of the United States. It emphasized high tariffs on imports to help develop the fledgling American manufacturing base and to finance infrastructure projects, as well as National Banking, Public Credit, and government investment into advanced scientific and technological research and development. Friedrich List, one of the most famous proponents of the economic system, named it the National System, and was the main impetus behind the development of the German Zollverein and the economic policies of Germany under Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck beginning in 1879.
The French Liberal School (also called the "Optimist School" or "Orthodox School") is a 19th-century school of economic thought that was centered on the Collège de France and the Institut de France. The Journal des Économistes was instrumental in promulgating the ideas of the School. The School voraciously defended free trade and laissez-faire capitalism. They were primary opponents of collectivist, interventionist and protectionist ideas. This made the French School a forerunner of the modern Austrian School.
The Historical school of economics was an approach to academic economics and to public administration that emerged in the 19th century in Germany, and held sway there until well into the 20th century. The Historical school held that history was the key source of knowledge about human actions and economic matters, since economics was culture-specific, and hence not generalizable over space and time. The School rejected the universal validity of economic theorems. They saw economics as resulting from careful empirical and historical analysis instead of from logic and mathematics. The School preferred historical, political, and social studies to self-referential mathematical modelling. Most members of the school were also Kathedersozialisten, i.e. concerned with social reform and improved conditions for the common man during a period of heavy industrialization. The Historical School can be divided into three tendencies: the Older, led by Wilhelm Roscher, Karl Knies, and Bruno Hildebrand; the Younger, led by Gustav von Schmoller, and also including Étienne Laspeyres, Karl Bücher, Adolph Wagner, and to some extent Lujo Brentano; the Youngest, led by Werner Sombart and including, to a very large extent, Max Weber.
Predecessors included Friedrich List. The Historical school largely controlled appointments to Chairs of Economics in German universities, as many of the advisors of Friedrich Althoff, head of the university department in the Prussian Ministry of Education 1882-1907, had studied under members of the School. Moreover, Prussia was the intellectual powerhouse of Germany and so dominated academia, not only in central Europe, but also in the United States until about 1900, because the American economics profession was led by holders of German Ph.Ds. The Historical school was involved in the Methodenstreit ("strife over method") with the Austrian School, whose orientation was more theoretical and a prioristic. In English speaking countries, the Historical school is perhaps the least known and least understood approach to the study of economics, because it differs radically from the now-dominant Anglo-American analytical point of view. Yet the Historical school forms the basis—both in theory and in practice—of the social market economy, for many decades the dominant economic paradigm in most countries of continental Europe. The Historical school is also a source of Joseph Schumpeter's dynamic, change-oriented, and innovation-based economics. Although his writings could be critical of the School, Schumpeter's work on the role of innovation and entrepreneurship can be seen as a continuation of ideas originated by the Historical School, especially the work of von Schmoller and Sombart.
Although not nearly as famous as its German counterpart, there was also an English Historical School, whose figures included William Whewell, Richard Jones, Thomas Edward Cliffe Leslie, Walter Bagehot, Thorold Rogers, Arnold Toynbee, William Cunningham, and William Ashley. It was this school that heavily critiqued the deductive approach of the classical economists, especially the writings of David Ricardo. This school revered the inductive process and called for the merging of historical fact with those of the present period.
Georgism or geoism is an economic philosophy proposing that both individual and national economic outcomes would be improved by the utilization of economic rent resulting from control over land and natural resources through levies such as a land value tax.
Marxian economics descended from the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. This school focuses on the labor theory of value and what Marx considered to be the exploitation of labour by capital. Thus, in Marxian economics, the labour theory of value is a method for measuring the exploitation of labour in a capitalist society rather than simply a theory of price.
Ricardian socialism is a branch of early 19th century classical economic thought based on the theory that labor is the source of all wealth and exchange value, and rent, profit and interest represent distortions to a free market. The pre-Marxian theories of capitalist exploitation they developed are widely regarded as having been heavily influenced by the works of David Ricardo, and favoured collective ownership of the means of production.
Anarchist economics comprises a set of theories which seek to outline modes of production and exchange not governed by coercive social institutions:
Thinkers associated with anarchist economics include:
Distributism is an economic philosophy that was originally formulated in the late 19th century and early 20th century by Catholic thinkers to reflect the teachings of Pope Leo XIII's encyclical Rerum Novarum and Pope Pius's XI encyclical Quadragesimo Anno. It seeks to pursue a third way between capitalism and socialism, desiring to order society according to Christian principles of justice while still preserving private property.
Institutional economics focuses on understanding the role of the evolutionary process and the role of institutions in shaping economic behaviour. Its original focus lay in Thorstein Veblen's instinct-oriented dichotomy between technology on the one side and the "ceremonial" sphere of society on the other. Its name and core elements trace back to a 1919 American Economic Review article by Walton H. Hamilton.
New institutional economics is a perspective that attempts to extend economics by focusing on the social and legal norms and rules (which are institutions) that underlie economic activity and with analysis beyond earlier institutional economics and neoclassical economics. It can be seen as a broadening step to include aspects excluded in neoclassical economics. It rediscovers aspects of classical political economy.
Neoclassical economics is the dominant form of economics used today and has the highest amount of adherents among economists. It is often referred to by its critics as Orthodox Economics. The more specific definition this approach implies was captured by Lionel Robbins in a 1932 essay: "the science which studies human behavior as a relation between scarce means having alternative uses." The definition of scarcity is that available resources are insufficient to satisfy all wants and needs; if there is no scarcity and no alternative uses of available resources, then there is no economic problem.
Austrian economists advocate methodological individualism in interpreting economic developments, the subjective theory of value, that money is non-neutral, and emphasize the organizing power of the price mechanism (see Economic calculation debate) and a laissez faire approach to the economy.
The Stockholm School is a school of economic thought. It refers to a loosely organized group of Swedish economists that worked together, in Stockholm, Sweden primarily in the 1930s.
The Stockholm School had—like John Maynard Keynes—come to the same conclusions in macroeconomics and the theories of demand and supply. Like Keynes, they were inspired by the works of Knut Wicksell, a Swedish economist active in the early years of the twentieth century.
Keynesian economics has developed from the work of John Maynard Keynes and focused on macroeconomics in the short-run, particularly the rigidities caused when prices are fixed. It has two successors. Post-Keynesian economics is an alternative school—one of the successors to the Keynesian tradition with a focus on macroeconomics. They concentrate on macroeconomic rigidities and adjustment processes, and research micro foundations for their models based on real-life practices rather than simple optimizing models. Generally associated with Cambridge, England and the work of Joan Robinson (see Post-Keynesian economics). New-Keynesian economics is the other school associated with developments in the Keynesian fashion. These researchers tend to share with other Neoclassical economists the emphasis on models based on micro foundations and optimizing behavior, but focus more narrowly on standard Keynesian themes such as price and wage rigidity. These are usually made to be endogenous features of these models, rather than simply assumed as in older style Keynesian ones (see New-Keynesian economics).
The Chicago School is a neoclassical school of economic thought associated with the work of the faculty at the University of Chicago, notable particularly in macroeconomics for developing monetarism as an alternative to Keynesianism and its influence on the use of rational expectations in macroeconomic modelling.
Mainstream economics is a term used to distinguish economics in general from heterodox approaches and schools within economics. It begins with the premise that resources are scarce and that it is necessary to choose between competing alternatives. That is, economics deals with tradeoffs. With scarcity, choosing one alternative implies forgoing another alternative—the opportunity cost. The opportunity cost expresses an implicit relationship between competing alternatives. Such costs, considered as prices in a market economy, are used for analysis of economic efficiency or for predicting responses to disturbances in a market. In a planned economy comparable shadow price relations must be satisfied for the efficient use of resources, as first demonstrated by the Italian economist Enrico Barone. Economists represent incentives and costs as playing a pervasive role in shaping decision making. An immediate example of this is the consumer theory of individual demand, which isolates how prices (as costs) and income affect quantity demanded. Modern mainstream economics builds primarily on neoclassical economics, which began to develop in the late 19th century. Mainstream economics also acknowledges the existence of market failure and insights from Keynesian economics. It uses models of economic growth for analyzing long-run variables affecting national income. It employs game theory for modeling market or non-market behavior. Some important insights on collective behavior (for example, emergence of organizations) have been incorporated through the new institutional economics. A definition that captures much of modern economics is that of Lionel Robbins in a 1932 essay: "the science which studies human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses." Scarcity means that available resources are insufficient to satisfy all wants and needs. Absent scarcity and alternative uses of available resources, there is no economic problem. The subject thus defined involves the study of choice, as affected by incentives and resources. Economics generally is the study of how people allocate scarce resources among alternative uses.
Heterodox economics: Some schools of thought are at variance with the microeconomic formalism of neoclassical economics. Heterodox economists instead emphasize the influence of history, natural systems, uncertainty, and power. Among these, we have institutional economics, Marxian economics, feminist economics, socialist economics, binary economics, ecological economics, bioeconomics and thermoeconomics.
In the late 19th century, a number of heterodox schools contended with the neoclassical school that arose following the marginal revolution. Most survive to the present day as self-consciously dissident schools, but with greatly diminished size and influence relative to mainstream economics. The most significant are Institutional economics, Marxian economics and the Austrian School.
The development of Keynesian economics was a substantial challenge to the dominant neoclassical school of economics. Keynesian views eventually entered the mainstream as a result of the Keynesian-neoclassical synthesis developed by John Hicks. The rise of Keynesianism, and its incorporation into mainstream economics, reduced the appeal of heterodox schools. However, advocates of a more fundamental critique of orthodox economics formed a school of Post-Keynesian economics.
More recent heterodox developments include evolutionary economics (though this term is also used to describe institutional economics), feminist, Green economics, Post-autistic economics, and Thermoeconomics.
Heterodox approaches often embody criticisms of the "mainstream" approaches. For instance:
Most heterodox views are critical of capitalism. The most notable exception is Austrian economics.
Georgescu-Roegen reintroduced into economics, the concept of entropy from thermodynamics (as distinguished from what, in his view, is the mechanistic foundation of neoclassical economics drawn from Newtonian physics) and did foundational work which later developed into evolutionary economics. His work contributed significantly to thermoeconomics and to ecological economics.
Notable schools or trends of thought in economics in the 20th century were as follows. These were advocated by well-defined groups of academics that became widely known:
In the late 20th century, areas of study that produced change in economic thinking were: risk-based (rather than price-based models), imperfect economic actors, and treating economics as a biological science (based on evolutionary norms rather than abstract exchange).
The study of risk was influential, in viewing variations in price over time as more important than actual price. This applied particularly to financial economics, where risk/return tradeoffs were the crucial decisions to be made.
An important area of growth was the study of information and decision. Examples of this school included the work of Joseph Stiglitz. Problems of asymmetric information and moral hazard, both based around information economics, profoundly affected modern economic dilemmas like executive stock options, insurance markets, and Third-World debt relief.
Finally, there were a series of economic ideas rooted in the conception of economics as a branch of biology, including the idea that energy relationships, rather than price relationships, determine economic structure. The use of fractal geometry to create economic models (see Energy Economics). In its infancy the application of non-linear dynamics to economic theory, as well as the application of evolutionary psychology explored the processes of valuation and the persistence of non-equilibrium conditions. The most visible work was in the area of applying fractals to market analysis, particularly arbitrage (see Complexity economics). Another infant branch of economics was neuroeconomics. The latter combines neuroscience, economics, and psychology to study how we make choices.
Mainstream economics encompasses a wide (but not unbounded) range of views. Politically, most mainstream economists hold views ranging from laissez-faire to modern liberalism. There are also divergent views on particular issues within economics, such as the effectiveness and desirability of Keynesian macroeconomic policy. Although, historically, few mainstream economists have regarded themselves as members of a "school", many would identify with one or more of neoclassical economics, monetarism, Keynesian economics, new classical economics, or behavioral economics.
Controversies within mainstream economics tend to be stated in terms of:
An example of a "mainstream" economic approach is the Triple Bottom Line accounting methods for cities developed by ICLEI and advocated by the C40 organization of the world's 40 largest cities. As this example suggests, a "mainstream" approach is defined by the degree to which it is adopted and advocated, not necessarily its technical rigor.
despite the particular policy views of its founders ..., Austrianism was perceived as the economics of the free market.
The Birmingham School was a school of economic thought that emerged in Birmingham, England during the post-Napoleonic depression that affected England following the end of the Napoleonic wars in 1815.Carnegie School
The Carnegie School was a so-called "Freshwater" economics intellectual movement in the 1950s and 1960s based at Carnegie Mellon University and led by Herbert A. Simon, James March, and Richard Cyert.Counter-economics
Counter-economics is a term originally used by libertarian activists and theorists Samuel Edward Konkin III and J. Neil Schulman. The former defined it as "the study or practice of all peaceful human action which is forbidden by the State." The term is short for "counter-establishment economics" and may also be referred to as counter-politics. Counter-economics was integrated by Schulman into Konkin's doctrine of agorism.English historical school of economics
The English historical school of economics, although not nearly as famous as its German counterpart, sought a return of inductive methods in economics, following the triumph of the deductive approach of David Ricardo in the early 19th century. The school considered itself the intellectual heirs of past figures who had emphasized empiricism and induction, such as Francis Bacon and Adam Smith. Included in this school are William Whewell, Richard Jones, Thomas Edward Cliffe Leslie, Walter Bagehot, Thorold Rogers, Arnold Toynbee, William Cunningham, and William Ashley.Heterodox economics
Heterodoxy is a term that may be used in contrast with orthodoxy in schools of economic thought or methodologies, that may be beyond neoclassical economics. Heterodoxy is an umbrella term that can cover various schools of thought or theories. These might for example include institutional, evolutionary, Georgist, Austrian, feminist, social, post-Keynesian (not to be confused with New Keynesian), ecological, Marxian, socialist and anarchist economics, among others.Economics may be called orthodox or conventional economics by its critics. Alternatively, mainstream economics deals with the "rationality–individualism–equilibrium nexus" and heterodox economics is more "radical" in dealing with the "institutions–history–social structure nexus". Many economists dismiss heterodox economics as "fringe" and "irrelevant", with little or no influence on the vast majority of academic mainstream economists in the English-speaking world.
A recent review documented several prominent groups of heterodox economists since at least the 1990s as working together with a resulting increase in coherence across different constituents. Along these lines, the International Confederation of Associations for Pluralism in Economics (ICAPE) does not define "heterodox economics" and has avoided defining its scope. ICAPE defines its mission as "promoting pluralism in economics."
In defining a common ground in the "critical commentary," one writer described fellow heterodox economists as trying to do three things: (1) identify shared ideas that generate a pattern of heterodox critique across topics and chapters of introductory macro texts; (2) give special attention to ideas that link methodological differences to policy differences; and (3) characterize the common ground in ways that permit distinct paradigms to develop common differences with textbook economics in different ways.One study suggests four key factors as important to the study of economics by self-identified heterodox economists: history, natural systems, uncertainty, and power.Lausanne School
The Lausanne School of economics, sometimes referred to as the Mathematical School, refers to the neoclassical economics school of thought surrounding Léon Walras and Vilfredo Pareto. It is named after the University of Lausanne, at which both Walras and Pareto held professorships. The central feature of the Lausanne School was its development of general equilibrium theory. Polish economist Leon Winiarski is also said to have been a member of the Lausanne School.List of socialist economists
This article lists notable socialist economists and political economists.Market abolitionism
Market abolitionism is a belief that the market, in the economic sense, should be completely eliminated from society. Market abolitionists argue that markets are ethically abhorrent, antisocial, and fundamentally incompatible with long term human and environmental survival.
In large countries in the modern world, the only significant alternative to a market economy has been central planning as was practiced in the early USSR and in the People's Republic of China before the 1990s. Other proposed alternatives to the market economy —participatory planning as proposed in the theory of participatory economics ("Parecon"), an "artificial market" as proposed by advocates of Inclusive Democracy, and the idea of substituting a gift economy for a commodity exchange—have not yet been tried on a large scale in the modern industrialized world, though alternative organizational methods have been implemented successfully during short periods of time: the early stages of the Russian Revolution before it was taken over by the Bolsheviks, and the Spanish Revolution before it was crushed by the alliance of liberals and communists.Neo-Marxian economics
The terms neo-Marxian, post-Marxian and radical political economics were first used to refer to a distinct tradition of economic theory in the 1970s and 1980s that stems from the Marxian economic thought. Many of the leading figures were associated with the leftist Monthly Review School.Neo-Ricardianism
The neo-Ricardian school is an economic school
that derives from the close reading and interpretation of David Ricardo by Piero Sraffa, and from Sraffa's critique of neo-classical economics as presented in his The Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities, and further developed by the neo-Ricardians in the course of the Cambridge capital controversy. It particularly disputes neo-classical theory of income distribution.
Prominent neo-Ricardians are usually held to include Pierangelo Garegnani, Krishna Bharadwaj, Luigi Pasinetti, Joan Robinson, John Eatwell, Fernando Vianello, Murray Milgate, Ian Steedman, Heinz D. Kurz, Neri Salvadori, Bertram Schefold, Fabio Petri, Massimo Pivetti, Franklin Serrano, Fabio Ravagnani, Roberto Ciccone, Sergio Parrinello, Alessandro Roncaglia, Maurice Dobb, Gilbert Abraham-Frois, Theodore Mariolis and Giorgio Gilibert.
The school partially overlaps with post-Keynesian and neo-Marxian economics.New institutional economics
New institutional economics (NIE) is an economic perspective that attempts to extend economics by focusing on the social and legal norms and rules (which are institutions) that underlie economic activity and with analysis beyond earlier institutional economics and neoclassical economics. It can be seen as a broadening step to include aspects excluded in neoclassical economics. It rediscovers aspects of classical political economy.Post-autistic economics
The post-autistic economics movement (French: autisme-économie) or movement of students for the reform of economics teaching (French: mouvement des étudiants pour une réforme de l'enseignement de l'économie) is a political movement which criticises neoclassical economics and advocates for pluralism in economics. The movement gained attention after an open letter signed by almost a thousand economics students at French universities and Grandes Écoles was published in Le Monde in 2000.Saltwater and freshwater economics
In economics, the freshwater school (or sometimes sweetwater school) comprises US-based macroeconomists who, in the early 1970s, challenged the prevailing consensus in macroeconomics research. A key element of their approach was the argument that macroeconomics had to be dynamic and based on how individuals and institutions interact in markets and on how they make decisions under uncertainty.This new approach to macroeconomics was centered in the faculties of the University of Chicago, Carnegie Mellon University, Northwestern University, Cornell University, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Rochester. They were called the "freshwater school" because Chicago, Pittsburgh, Rochester, Minneapolis, etc. are located closer to the North American Great Lakes.The established methodological approach to macroeconomic research was primarily defended by economists at the universities and other institutions located near the east and west coast of the United States. These universities included University of California, Berkeley, Brown University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, Columbia University, and Yale University. They were therefore often referred to as the saltwater schools.Socioeconomics
Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how societies progress, stagnate, or regress because of their local or regional economy, or the global economy. Societies are divided into 3 groups: social, cultural and economic.Stockholm school (economics)
The Stockholm School (Swedish: Stockholmsskolan), is a school of economic thought. It refers to a loosely organized group of Swedish economists that worked together, in Stockholm, Sweden primarily in the 1930s.
The Stockholm School had—like John Maynard Keynes—come to the same conclusions in macroeconomics and the theories of demand and supply. Like Keynes, they were inspired by the works of Knut Wicksell, a Swedish economist active in the early years of the twentieth century.
William Barber’s comment upon Gunnar Myrdal´s work on monetary theory goes like this:
“If his contribution had been available to readers of English before 1936, it is interesting to speculate whether the ‘revolution’ in macroeconomic theory of the depression decade would be referred to as ‘Myrdalian’ as much as ‘Keynesian’”Structuralist economics
Structuralist economics is an approach to economics that emphasizes the importance of taking into account structural features (typically) when undertaking economic analysis. The approach originated with the work of the Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA or CEPAL) and is primarily associated with its director Raúl Prebisch and Brazilian economist Celso Furtado. Prebisch began with arguments that economic inequality and distorted development was an inherent structural feature of the global system exchange. As such, early structuralist models emphasised both internal and external disequilibria arising from the productive structure and its interactions with the dependent relationship developing countries had with the developed world. Prebisch himself helped provide the rationale for the idea of Import substitution industrialization, in the wake of the Great Depression and World War II. The alleged declining terms of trade of the developing countries, the Singer–Prebisch hypothesis, played a key role in this.Thermoeconomics
Thermoeconomics, also referred to as biophysical economics, is a school of heterodox economics that applies the laws of statistical mechanics to economic theory. Thermoeconomics can be thought of as the statistical physics of economic value and is a subfield of econophysics.Virginia school of political economy
The Virginia School of political economy is a school of economic thought originating in universities of Virginia (University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, and George Mason University) in the 1950s and 1960s, mainly focusing on public choice theory, constitutional economics, and law and economics.Wisconsin school
The Wisconsin school in economics was based at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and played a prominent role in American economics in the first half of the 20th century. The Wisconsin school was central to institutionalism in the United States, and also played a prominent role in labor economics and in the development of the policy ideas associated with the New Deal. The central figures in the Wisconsin school were Richard T. Ely and his student John R. Commons.
Notable students of Commons included Edwin E. Witte, largely responsible for the drafting of the Social Security Act, Selig Perlman, Kenneth Parsons, and Harold Groves.
Other notable economists associated with the Wisconsin school include Walter Heller, Robert J. Lampman, Warren Samuels, and Theodore Schultz.
Schools of economic thought
|20th- and 21st century|
of economic thought