The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Stigler as an Historian of Economic Thought

  • Thomas Sowell
Reference work entry


George J. Stigler’s work in the history of economic thought can be divided into five broad categories: (1) analyses of the theories of particular economists, such as Ricardo, J.S. Mill, or Stanley Jevons; (2) analysis of particular concepts, such as perfect competition or the Giffen paradox; (3) analyses of trends in the economics profession, such as the emergence of professional journals and the changing emphases of their contents; (4) considerations of the influence of economic theories on events, and vice-versa; and (5) methodological considerations, such as the meaning and role of originality, or the canons of textual exegesis. The versatility of his work in these areas has been matched by its depth and insight – and unmatched by any other historian of economic thought.

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Sowell
    • 1
  1. 1.