History of Economic Analysis


This course offers an introduction to economic analysis through the study of its historical development. The course is divided into three parts: (1) historical elements of price theory, (2) economic problems from Smith to Keynes and (3) contemporary developments. The first part tests the idea that economists are distinguished from other social science researchers by the importance given to the phenomenon of price. It tries to explain why, by specifying the philosophical and practical questions that motivate them. It also aims to identify different ways of developing this approach to society. The main price theories try to describe the order that emerges from the market. Since the beginning of their science, however, economists have always been confronted with economic problems and disorders. In the second part of the course, we will see how this question is tackled and how a gap emerges between the field of price theory and the field specialising in studying monetary disorders, crises and unemployment which became known as macroeconomics at the end of the 1930s.



  1. History of price theory– Price theory and the birth of political economy: Aristotle, the stochastics and the mercantilists, Quesnay, Turgot, Smith. The labour theory of value: Ricardo, Marx, Say. Marginalism: Edgeworth, Marshall, Walras.
  2. Economic problems– Smith and the classics. Money, cycles and unemployment before 1936: the Quantitative Theory, theories of cycles, Wicksell, Schumpeter, unemployment, Beveridge, Pigou, Rueff. Keynes and the General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money: Keynesian underemployment and unemployment. The future of the Keynesian message in the framework of the neoclassical synthesis: Hicks’ IS-LM model, neo-Keynesians, Klein, Modigliani, Patinkin.
  3. Contemporary developments


Références bilbiographiques :

Béraud, A. & Faccarello, G. dir. (1992-2000), Nouvelle histoire de la pensée économique, La découverte (3 tomes).

Boncoeur J & Thouément H., Histoire des idées économiques, Nathan (2 tomes).

Deleplace, G. (2006) Histoire de la pensée économique, Dunod.

Dellemotte J. (2017), Histoire des idées économique, Collection Aide-Mémoire, Dunod.

Denis H. (2008), Histoire de la pensée économique, Collection Quadrige, Presses universitaires de France.

Dubœuf  F. (1999), Introduction aux théories économiques, Paris, La Découverte

Ferey S. & Rivot S. dir. (2019), Histoire de la pensée économique, Pearson


Ressources virtuelles

Les Classiques des sciences sociales, bibliothèque numérique de l’Université de Chicoutimi au Quebec (Hobbes, Locke, Smith, Ricardo, Marx, etc.), http://classiques.uqac.ca/

Library of Economics and Liberty, textes classiques (en anglais) mis en ligne par le Liberty Fund, https://www.econlib.org/books-by-author/

Marxists Internet Archive, œuvres complètes de Marx, Engels, etc. disponibles en français, https://www.marxists.org/francais/

The Online Library of Liberty, bibliothèque numérique du Liberty Fund (ouvrages en anglais en facsimile .pdf), http://oll.libertyfund.org/

Nombreuses éditions anciennes en fac-similé pdf sur https://gallica.bnf.fr/, https://books.google.fr/ et https://archive.org/