Using eco textbooks to develop better eco history

A superb speech/paper by Steven G. Medema of University of Colorado, Denver.

He says economists pay minimal attention to textbooks as source of economic history. Some textbooks are written for the current time focusing on the economic thought then and some are thoughtful forward looking textbooks. There is data etc in textbooks which can be used as well. Hence, they are useful to build on economic history:

Historians of economics have paid minimal attention to the diffusion of economic ideas in the textbook literature. Given the low esteem in which textbooks are held as embodiments of scholarship and the propensity of historians of economics – and intellectual historians generally – to focus on the production of scholarship through more lofty venues such as journal articles and scholarly books, this lack of attention to the textbook literature is in some ways understandable. This paper attempts to make the case that the textbook literature constitutes an incredibly rich data source for the historian of economics. In doing so, it draws illustrations from the treatment of the Coase theorem in the textbooks, with a view both to showing how the textbook literature enhances our understanding of the diffusion of economic ideas and how attempts by authors to grapple with new ideas in the context of the textbook literature can result in divergences between how these ideas are treated in the scholarly and textbook literatures.

Due to lack of time, cannot really cover the details. A good different read.

One Response to “Using eco textbooks to develop better eco history”

  1. Tamil Song Lyrics Says:

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