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Building Chicago Economics
New Perspectives on the History of America's Most Powerful Economics Program

$36.00 ( ) USD

Part of Historical Perspectives on Modern Economics

Robert Van Horn, Philip Mirowski, Thomas Stapleford, Jaime Peck, J. Daniel Hammond, Paul Burnett, Ross B. Emmett, Edward Nik-Khah, Steven G. Medema, Matthias Klaes, Jack Vromen, Bruce Caldwell, Béatrice Cherrier
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  • Date Published: November 2011
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9781139143011

$ 36.00 USD ( )
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About the Authors
  • Over the past forty years, economists associated with the University of Chicago have won more than one-third of the Nobel prizes awarded in their discipline and have been major influences on American public policy. Building Chicago Economics presents the first collective attempt by social science historians to chart the rise and development of the Chicago School during the decades that followed the Second World War. Drawing on new research in published and archival sources, contributors examine the people, institutions, and ideas that established the foundations for the success of Chicago economics and thereby positioned it as a powerful and controversial force in American political and intellectual life.

    • Offers the first collective attempt by historians to chart the rise and development of the 'Chicago School' of economics after World War II
    • Explores the personal, institutional and intellectual factors that led to the extraordinary success of postwar Chicago economics
    • Engages controversial aspects of the Chicago economics, such as its 'imperialistic' approach to other disciplines and to neoliberalism
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    Reviews & endorsements

    “Building Chicago Economics brings together some of the best minds in the history of economic thought to offer a most valuable assessment of the science and politics of Chicago economists in the postwar period. A real page turner, this multifaceted and wonderfully researched volume reveals the continuities and discontinuities of Chicago economics over time, the ideological and methodological conflicts among its members, their domestic and international influence, and the struggles of a putative ‘school’ with the rest of the profession. It is a major, and much needed, contribution to the history and sociology of modern economics.” – Marion Fourcade, University of California, Berkley

    “The Chicago School of Economics defined itself against institutional and historical approaches to economic thought, but the deeply researched essays in this collection do a tremendous service by bringing those very methodologies to bear on the rise of the Chicago tradition.” – Kimberly K. Phillips-Fein, New York University

    “This is an excellent collection of essays: it is an important addition to the previous work of Van Horn and Mirowski on the early development of Chicago neoliberalism, and a significant contribution to the literature on post-1945 American economics. Taken together these essays reveal a great deal concerning the institutional foundations of Chicago economics, its development and variation over time and persons, and its explicit policy orientation. Most of all, the book contains an extended discussion of the key issue of the relationship between Chicago economics and neoliberal ideological commitments.” – Malcolm Rutherford, University of Victoria, Canada

    “Rashomon in the great beating heartland of the Midwest! These essays offer one valuable perspective on the goings-on in and around the economics department of the University of Chicago in the years since the end of World War II. There are other accounts of those developments, and will be still more. This book is a vivid reminder of why we all like mystery stories.” – David Warsh,

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2011
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9781139143011
    • contains: 1 b/w illus. 3 tables
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    Blueprints Robert Van Horn, Philip Mirowski and Thomas Stapleford
    Orientation: finding the Chicago School Jaime Peck
    Part I. Economics Built for Policy: The Legacy of Milton Friedman:
    1. Positive economics for democratic policy: Milton Friedman, institutionalism, and the science of history Thomas Stapleford
    2. Markets, politics, and democracy at Chicago: taking economics seriously J. Daniel Hammond
    Part II. Constructing the Institutional Foundations of the Chicago School:
    3. The price is not right: Theodore W. Schultz, policy planning, and agricultural economics in the cold-war United States Paul Burnett
    4. Sharpening tools in the workshop: the workshop system and the Chicago School's success Ross B. Emmett
    5. George Stigler, the graduate school of business, and the pillars of the Chicago School Edward Nik-Khah
    Part III. Imperial Chicago:
    6. Chicago price theory and Chicago law and economics: a tale of two transitions Steven Medema
    7. Intervening in laissez-faire liberalism: Chicago's shift on patents Robert Van Horn and Matthias Klaes
    8. Allusions to evolution: edifying evolutionary biology rather than economic theory Jack Vromen
    9. On the origins (at Chicago) of some species of evolutionary economics Philip Mirowski
    Part IV. Debating Chicago Neoliberalism:
    10. Jacob Viner's critique of Chicago neoliberalism Robert Van Horn
    11. The Chicago School, Hayek, and neoliberalism Bruce Caldwell
    12. The lucky consistency of Milton Friedman's science and politics, 1933–63 Béatrice Cherrier
    13. Far right of the midway: Chicago neoliberalism and the genesis of the Milton Friedman Institute (2006–9) Edward Nik-Khah.

  • Editors

    Robert Van Horn, University of Rhode Island
    Robert Van Horn is Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Rhode Island. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Notre Dame in 2007 and was a Postdoctoral Associate at the Center for the History of Political Economy at Duke University in 2008–9. His published work on the history of the Chicago School comprises two chapters in Philip Mirowski and Dieter Plehwe's The Road from Mont Pelerin: Making of the Neoliberal Thought Collective (2009) and two articles in Ross Emmett's The Elgar Companion to the Chicago School of Economics (2010). Professor Van Horn has also published in History of Political Economy, the Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology and Social Studies of Science.

    Philip Mirowski, University of Notre Dame, Indiana
    Philip Mirowski is Carl Koch Professor of Economics and the History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Notre Dame. His areas of specialization are in the history and philosophy of economics and the politics and economics of knowledge, with subsidiary areas in evolutionary computational economics, the economics of science and technological change, science studies and the history of the natural sciences. His most recent books include The Effortless Economy of Science (2004, winner of the Ludwig Fleck Prize from the Society for the Social Studies of Science), Machine Dreams (Cambridge University Press, 2001) and ScienceMart (2011), and he edited Agreement on Demand (2006), Science Bought and Sold (2001) and The Road from Mont Pèlerin (2009). His landmark book More Heat than Light (Cambridge University Press, 1989) has been translated into French (2001). He has been the recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright program and New York University and was elected visiting Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford. He was elected President of the History of Economics Society for 2011.

    Thomas A. Stapleford, University of Notre Dame, Indiana
    Thomas Stapleford is Associate Professor in the Program of Liberal Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University in 2003, where he studied the history of the social sciences. His dissertation, revised and published as The Cost of Living in America: A Political History of Economic Statistics, 1880–2000 (Cambridge University Press, 2009), won the Joseph Dorfman Best Dissertation Award from the History of Economics Society in 2004. Professor Stapleford was a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Cambridge, MA, in 2008–9. He has published articles on economic statistics and political economy in a variety of journals and is currently working on a history of family economics, the first effort by economists to make empirical studies of household life.


    Robert Van Horn, Philip Mirowski, Thomas Stapleford, Jaime Peck, J. Daniel Hammond, Paul Burnett, Ross B. Emmett, Edward Nik-Khah, Steven G. Medema, Matthias Klaes, Jack Vromen, Bruce Caldwell, Béatrice Cherrier

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