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Alfred Marshall and Neoclassicism: Economics Becomes a Science | [Robert Hebert]

Alfred Marshall and Neoclassicism: Economics Becomes a Science

Alfred Marshall, a British economics professor at Oxford University, developed economics into a more rigorous, professional discipline than ever before. He invented concepts such as price elasticity, the representative firm, consumer's surplus, and other ideas that significantly enlarged the "analytical tool kit" of the economist.
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Publisher's Summary

Alfred Marshall (1842-1924), a British economics professor at Oxford University, developed economics into a more rigorous, professional discipline than ever before. He invented concepts such as price elasticity, the representative firm, consumer's surplus, and other ideas that significantly enlarged the "analytical tool kit" of the economist.

Darwin's ideas about biological evolution especially influenced Marshall, who learned a great deal about economic behavior by viewing a business firm as a biological organism, complete with a life cycle. He is perhaps best remembered for explaining the interaction of supply (i.e. costs of production) and demand (i.e. consumer utility), using the famous "scissors" metaphor to explain how these forces determine the price of an object.

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    Nelson Alexander New York, NY, United States 04-04-09
    Nelson Alexander New York, NY, United States 04-04-09 Member Since 2006
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    "Small Gems with Minor Flaws"

    The titles in this series on major economists, narrated by Louis Rukeyser, are actually quite good, I have come to realize. At first I wasn't taken with them. But I have become more and more impressed. Rukeyser's narrations are perfectly pitched and easy to follow. The series writers are nearly all excellent. They muster vivid micro-biographies, place the economist's thinking in historical perspective, and do a good job of clarifying the central ideas. Most of the economics books at Audible tend to be by narrow-minded, usually youthful dogmatists of neoclassical economics, which they take to be a universal science. Demand curves, prisoners dilemma, etc.,etc. The writers in this series are much more mature thinkers and offer an ideologically balanced, historical view of economics that serves as a valuable corrective to this callow academics.

    There are some flaws that make me wish the series could be republished. I would like about 20 minutes more on principles, with some updating using a few current illustrations and examples. The series also suffers from a flaw affecting many audiobooks: Actors. The quotes are read by over-enthused thespians affecting Austrian or Scottish accents with such gusto it is hard to concentrate on the words. (The "acting" menace is a particular problem in poetry audiobooks where the readers are often so overcome with dramatic passion you can practically feel the spittle in your ear.) The writing and reading in this series was quite good enough. The nervous publishers didn't have to add "excitement" to economics by recruiting eager stage talent. Aside from that, really a good, intelligent series. One more "economic" quibble. I wish you could buy six titles, Adam Smith through the Monetarists, at a reduced rate. Together the titles would amount to the best economics history lesson available at Audible, but too expensive.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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    Padraig Maple Glen, PA, USA 01-30-12
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    If you could sum up Alfred Marshall and Neoclassicism in three words, what would they be?

    Educational, entertaining, informative


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    It was an engaging program and enlightening. Essential knowledge for anyone with and interest in economics


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