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The Dissemination of Economic Ideas

The Dissemination of Economic Ideas

Edited by Heinz D. Kurz, Tamotsu Nishizawa and Keith Tribe

This highly illuminating book marks a significant stage in our growing understanding of how the development of national traditions of economic thought has been affected by both internal and external factors.

Chapter 7: The Dissemination of Economic Thought in South-Eastern Europe in the Nineteenth Century

Michalis M. Psalidopoulos and Nicholas J. Theocarakis

Subjects: economics and finance, economic psychology, history of economic thought


Michalis M. Psalidopoulos and Nicholas J. Theocarakis 7.1 INTRODUCTION The renaissance of the history of political economy towards the end of the twentieth century has given rise to several national histories of economic thought, together with analysis of its international diffusion (Cardoso, 2003). Psalidopoulos and Mata (2002) have explored the relationship between economic thought and economic policy in Europe’s less developed countries in the nineteenth century, while Augello and Guidi (2001, 2005) have examined the institutionalization and professionalization of economics and economists in European parliaments during the same period. We here continue this work, seeking a better understanding of the dissemination of economic thought in South-Eastern Europe during the nineteenth century. This was the century of nation-building on the periphery of Europe, and was marked by the coming of age of liberalism, protectionism and socialism. Newborn states, especially those that became independent from the Ottoman Empire, like Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria and Rumania (Albania had to wait for the next century), absorbed economic ideas and theories from Europe’s more developed countries. Striving to become rich and prosperous, they followed various routes into modernity. Doing so meant for them first and foremost building modern institutions, fighting illiteracy and spreading the use of their language in their territories. It also meant developing the nation economically. The economic interests of each South-Eastern European country therefore had to be defined, and a policy leading to growth and prosperity introduced. Intellectuals in these countries had travelled and studied abroad at a time when classical political economy...

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