ECON 372 - History of Economic Institutions and Thought

  • 3 credits
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Origins and development of capitalist institutions including contemporary issues of alienation, loss of community, and changing values.

This course provides an introduction to the history of economic thought. The course will begin with a brief survey of pre-capitalist economic thought, then cover the evolution of economic thinking from the mid-18th century around the time that Adam Smith was writing and continue through to the present day.

Particular focus will be paid to:

  • the Classical Political Economists;
  • the Marginalist Revolution and Neoclassical economics;
  • heterodox approaches to Poilitical Economy;
  • the Keynesian and Austrian schools of thought; recent developments in economic thinking.
  • recent developments in economic thinking.

By the end of the semester you should be able to:

  • understand the main ideas of the major schools of economic thought;
  • recognize the historical context behind different contributions to economic thought;
  • develop an appreciation for the evolution of capitalist institutions, economic thinking, and the nature of economies;
  • understand the difference between “Political Economy” and “Economics” and “orthodox” and
  • heterodox” economics;
  • develop a broader set of tools with which to think about and solve real world economic problems.


ECON 101 (Economics of Social Issues) or ECON 202 (Principles of Microeconomics) or AREC 202 (Agricultural and Resource Economics).

Textbooks and Materials

Textbooks and materials can be purchased at the CSU Bookstore unless otherwise indicated.


  • Teachings from the Worldly Philosophy (1997)
    Heilbroner, Robert L.
    ISBN: 978-0393316070
  • The Worldly Philosophers-Revised, 7th Ed. (1999)
    Heilbroner, Robert L.
    ISBN: 978-0684862149
  • Understanding Capitalism: Critical Analysis from Karl Marx to Amartya Sen (2002)
    Dowd, Douglas
    ISBN: 978-0745317823


Arpan Ganguly
Arpan Ganguly

Arpan is a PhD student and instructor in the Department of Economics at Colorado State University. Before coming to CSU, he completed his Master’s degree in Economics from University of Hyderabad in India. His research interests are in the fields of labor economics, industrial organization, and institutional economics. Arpan believes that new economic thinking or new modes of economic thought and analyses requires situating economic reality within its specific social and historical context. Apart from pondering over economic discourses, Arpan likes to spend his time sketching and painting, which helps add color to his thoughts.

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