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History of Economic Thought : Ancient Times to Modern Times
By V.V. Reddy

First Published : 2009
ISBN : 9788177081930
Pages : 346
Binding : Hardbound
Size : 5 x 9
Price : US$ 46
ABOUT THE BOOK

Economic thinking has a long history dating back to pre-Christian era. References to economic ideas and practices are found in Vedas, Bible and Koran in the form of commandments and instructions. Economics for long was regarded as the art of house keeping/management. In fact, Economy was the title of a book by an ancient Greek historian and philosopher Xenophon (434-355 B.C.). Aristotle was another ancient Greek thinker (384-322 B.C) who authored many works on philosophy, natural sciences and socio-economic problems. Another well-known Greek who reflected on economic matters was Plato, the author of the famous work, The Republic.

Mercantilism was a pre-classical school of thought which flourished in Europe during the 17th and early 18th centuries. It believed in a commercial policy under which generation of stock of precious metals like gold and silver through an export surplus was the main objective. Adam Smith and David Ricardo were the founders of the classical school of economics in Europe. They not only formulated economic laws governing production, exchange and distribution under capitalism, but also propounded an economic policy based on free international trade and laissez-faire (non-intervention).

The exploitation of the proletariat (workers) under capitalism led to the writings of Karl Marx (1818-1883), a German philosopher with revolutionary zeal. He published two epoch-making works in collaboration with his friend and benefactor Friedrich Engels (1820-1895): The Communist Manifesto (1848) and Das Capital (1867). These two works immensely influenced the thinking of the contemporary world.

     From the chaos of the depression of the early 1930s grew the ideas of John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) which are relevant to this day. This book is an attempt to rekindle interest in the history of economic ideas.


CONTENTS
     
1. Economic Ideas and Practices: An Introduction – Ancient Society; Medieval Society.

2. Nature and Importance of Economic Laws – Political Economy Defined; Natural Laws and Economic Laws; Origin of Political Economy: A Historical Review; Subject Matter and Method of Study.

3. Economic Thought: Basic Concepts – Labour; Productive Forces and Production Relations; Social Formation; Social Classes; Commodity; Labour Power; Market; Value and Price; Capital; Social Revolution; Exploitation; State; Competition; Monopoly; Imperialism; Neo-Colonialism; Law; Development; Bourgeoisie; Proletariat.

4. Dialectical and Historical Materialism – Dialectical Materialism; Historical Materialism; Primitive Communism; Slave Society; Feudal Society; Capitalist Society; Asiatic Mode of Production.

5. Theories of Value and Distribution – Adam Smith (1723-1790); David Ricardo (1772-1823); Karl Marx (1818-1883); Importance of the Law of Value; Ricardo and Marx on Value: A Comparison; Neo-classical Theory of Value; Theories of Distribution; Marginal Productivity Theory; Malthusian Theory of Population.

6. Accumulation and Economic Crisis – Simple Reproduction; Expanded Reproduction; Consequences of Accumulation; Economic Crisis; Course of the Crisis; Immiserisation of Proletariat; Post-War Reproduction Cycle; Course of the Post-War Cycle.

7. Price Determination under Capitalism – Values and Prices of Production; Role of Supply and Demand; Price of Labour Power and Wages; Price Formation under Monopoly Capitalism; Annual Depreciation of Currencies (Percent); Conclusion.

8. Size of the Capitalist Market – Factors Determining the Size of the Market; Meaning of Capitalist Market; Output and Size of the Market; Globalization and Size of the Market; Evolution of the Capitalist Market.

9. Imperialism and Neo-colonialism – Monopoly Capitalism; Forms of Monopoly; Export of Capital; Division of the World; Moribund Capitalism; Uneven Development; Militarization of the Economy; Neocolonialism; Economic Aid; Military Aid; Globalization; Place of Imperialism in History.

10. Capitalism and Underdevelopment – Vicious Circle of Poverty; Colonial Exploitation; National Liberation Movements; Planned Economic Development; Green Revolution; Concentration of Private Wealth; Unemployment; Social Origin of Poverty; Causes of Poverty.

11. Classes and Class Struggle – Class Division of the Society; Emergence of Private Property; Feudal System; Capitalist Mode of Production; Value and Distribution; State in Class Society; Class Struggle; International Labour Movement.

12. Economic Role of the State – Marxist Theory of State; State Intervention; Planning and Controls; State as Entrepreneur; State in Developing Countries; State in Socialist Society.

13. Classical Theory of Development – Division of Labour; Free Enterprise; Competition; Value and Surplus; Theory of Distribution; Over-production/Under-consumption; Stationary State; Relevance of Classical Theory.

14. Marxian Theory of Development – Method of Analysis; Preconditions of Capitalist Development; Process of Capitalist Development; Expanded Reproduction; Stationary State; Cyclical Development; An Evaluation of Marxian Theory; Marx on Underdevelopment and Colonialism.

15. Neo-classical Theory of Development – Neoclassical School of Economics; Modern Theories of Growth.

16. Gender Inequality in Historical Perspective – Historical Perspective; Birth of Christianity; Gender Inequality in the West; Gender Inequality in India; Dowry System; Economic Development.

17. Socialism: A Post-capitalist Society – Theory of Scientific Socialism; Programme for Socialist Transition; Soviet Socialism; Chinese Socialism; Land Reforms; Agrarian Cooperation; Setback to Big Leap; Post-Mao China; Foreign Policy.

Bibliography; Index

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
     
      Professor V.V. Reddy did his MA in Economics and Ph.D. from Lucknow University. He taught labour economics for two years to post-graduate students of economics, Lucknow University. Thereafter he taught economic theory and managerial economics at Regional Engineering College, Warangal (now National Institute of Technology) and retired from there as Professor of Economics. After retirement, he was Professor Emeritus at the Warangal Institute of Management and taught Managerial Economics for four years. He was in USSR in 1983 as a visiting Professor at the Institute of International Relations, Moscow. He was visiting Professor at Sri Venkateswara University Tirupathi (Andhra Pradesh) and at Nagarjuna University, Guntur (Andhra Pradesh). Still active in academics, he is frequently invited to deliver lectures for refresher courses conducted by Kakatiya University, Warangal. He is a founder-member of the Indian Society of Labour Economics.

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