Saturday, November 15, 2008

Economist's View Takes an Interest in the History of Ideas

Mark Thoma in his Economist's View Blog links to the previous post on the Islamic scholar who wrote about the division of labour, including in a 'needle' factory with 25 operations and in the making of a loaf of bread. HERE

I urge readers to bookmark Economist's View and read an informative Blog from an informed modern economist who, from the regular contents of his 'Links' feature, shows a regular intertest in the history economic thought.

I wish more regular working economists took a similar interest in the discipline's history of ideas. They could start, if they haven't already done so, by looking up the 1928 article in The Economic Journal by Allyn Young on how the extended division of labour all along the multiple supply chains of final consumption articles and services is a major contributor to economic growth. I discuss Allyn Young's thesis in chapter 10 of my Adam Smith: a moral philisopher and his political economy, Palgrave macmillan, 2008.

If you try Google for 'Allyn Young' you can find a reproduction of the entire 1928 Economic Journal article.

Of course, the main point about yesterday's post was to advise readers that the works of early Islamic and Persian philosophers have much that should interest modern economists.

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