The Chicago School: How the University of Chicago Assembled the Thinkers Who Revolutionized Economics and Business

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A landmark: the first book to provide an in-depth history of the Chicago School of Economics, which sprang from the economics departments at the University of Chicago and its business school in the mid-twentieth century and went on to revolutionize how we think about economics and business.
When Richard Nixon said "We are all Keynesians now" in 1971, few could have predicted that the next three decades would have resulted in a complete transformation of the global economic ...

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The Chicago School: How the University of Chicago Assembled the Thinkers Who Revolutionized Economics and Business

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Overview

A landmark: the first book to provide an in-depth history of the Chicago School of Economics, which sprang from the economics departments at the University of Chicago and its business school in the mid-twentieth century and went on to revolutionize how we think about economics and business.
When Richard Nixon said "We are all Keynesians now" in 1971, few could have predicted that the next three decades would have resulted in a complete transformation of the global economic landscape. This transformation was led chiefly by a small but potently influential circle of thinkers teaching or trained in Chicago's departments of economics and political science and its business school—many of whom had worked in relative obscurity for decades.
These thinkers—including Milton Friedman, Gary Becker, George Stigler, Robert Lucas, and others—revolutionized economic orthodoxy in the second half of the twentieth century, utterly dominated the Nobel Prizes awarded in economics, and changed how business is done around the world.
Written by a leading European economic thinker with his own long ties to the University of Chicago, The Chicago School is the first in-depth look at how this remarkable group of thinkers came together, and how their influence and importance grew around the world.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is an admirably detailed and thoroughly welcome history of a great centre of economic thought." — The Economist

“Overtveldt is at his best in his depiction of the ruthless yet stimulating internal culture of the department during these years. Workshops that might be polite but sleepy seminars at other campuses became ‘bloodbaths’ at Chicago. Graduate classes were exercises in ‘terror.’” — Kim Phillips-Fein, Chicago Tribune

“Unique and fascinating.” — Publishers Weekly

“I enjoyed the book very much. Instead of stopping at Friedman, Coase and Director, it also offers a comprehensive treatment of [many] neglected figures… it is a landmark in the history of economic thought.” — Tyler Cowen, “The Marginal Revolution”

Publishers Weekly

At its narrowest definition, "Chicago School" refers to a movement in economics whose central figure was Milton Friedman. At its broadest definition, the term refers to a system of research encouraged at the University of Chicago since its founding in 1892, which has produced luminaries in the natural and social sciences and a distinctive style of exposition and debate. This book begins with both definitions and explores how the broad Chicago tradition attracted and shaped the researchers who built an intellectual movement that not only revolutionized economics and finance, but was deeply influential in law, sociology and government. Emphasizing the links between the lives and ideas of dozens of famous Chicago researchers, it spans many intellectual fields over more that a century. The sometimes dizzying result is held together by core principles that define the Chicago tradition: insistence that ideas must be supported by both theory and data, hard work and vigorous debate. In particular, the workshop system nurtured strong personalities who could build and defend orthodoxy, and dissenters of equal strength. As an intellectual or institutional history, this study is superficial due to its breadth, but its exploration of the interaction between institution and idea is unique and fascinating. (May)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781932841145
  • Publisher: Agate
  • Publication date: 4/28/2007
  • Series: Nia Guides
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 22, 2009

    story of the United States' most influential school on economics

    The economics school of the University of Chicago has long been recognized as 'both a Mecca and a Rome for economic science for its many Nobel prize winners in economics, its number of professors and graduates holding high-level economic positions in the national government, and the impact of the economic theories associated with the school. So Van Overtveldt does not have to make the case for the University's unrivaled influence in this field of economics. Instead, he gets to the reason for this influence--and he finds two bases for this, namely the Chicago Tradition and the Chicago School. The Tradition is a cluster of 'characteristics' exemplified by individuals at the school of economics. Among these are a strong work ethic and the criterion of academic excellence as the sole basis for advancement along with a belief in the relevance of economics to the lives of ordinary individuals. The Chicago School factor entails key economic ideas and principles which have proven reliable both as explanations for economic behavior and as guidelines for successful economic policies. The bedrock belief is that 'free markets and the price mechanism are the most effective and desirable ways for a society to organize production and economic life in general.' Milton Friedman, Theodore W. Schultz, Paul Samuelson, and Frederick Hayek are economists who have been associated with the Chicago school of economics in one way or another. Van Overtveldt succinctly summarizes their ideas, precepts, work, and influence for a picture of the U.S.'s foremost educational institution in the field of economics. The author is a director of a Belgium think tank.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted July 21, 2010

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