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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Economic and Social History

Undergraduate Course: Time, Economics and Resource Allocation in Britain 1930-1990 (ECSH10094)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course provides an analysis of the changing interaction between time, economic theory and economic policy-making in the UK between 1930 and 1990.
Course description This one-semester course examines the changing use made of the concept of time in economic theory and in UK economic policy-making from the 1930s. Topics covered include: technology, fixed capital investment and the pricing of time; Hayek and the Austrian approach to time and markets; J.M. Keynes and the making of The General Theory; John Hicks and the interpretation of The General Theory; Frank Ramsey and discounting; Nicholas Kaldor and export-led growth and expenditure taxation; Maurice Allais, Paul Samuelson and the Over-Lapping Generations model; and James Meade and marginal-cost pricing. The policy areas covered will include: tangible and intangible assets; human capital; the distribution of income and wealth; housing; social security; health; the ownership and structure of utility industries; public investment; property rights and the law of the sea; and taxation.

Content note: The study of History inevitably involves the study of difficult topics that we encourage students to approach in a respectful, scholarly, and sensitive manner. The course organiser has not identified any sensitive content within this course's focus, however course organisers cannot entirely predict the directions discussions may take in tutorials or seminars, or through the wider reading that students may conduct for the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass or passes in 40 credits of first-level historical or economics courses or equivalent, and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second-level historical or economics courses or equivalent.

In addition, a background in first-year economics or British economic and environmental history is helpful to students taking this course.

Students should only be enrolled on this course with approval from the History Honours Programme Administrator.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students must have 3 History courses at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses. Enrolments for this course are managed by the CAHSS Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department. All enquiries to enrol must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
2,500 word Essay (on a particular topic in the course) (50%)
2,500 word Essay (on a question running across almost the whole course) (50%)
Feedback Students will receive written feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during their published office hours for this course or by appointment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate an understanding of the main principles underpinning the use of time in economic theory and in policy-making;
  2. demonstrate an understanding of the main changes in economic theory between 1930 and 1990;
  3. demonstrate an understanding of the role which economics plays in informing the processes and outcomes of decision-making;
  4. develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
A.J.C. Britton, Macroeconomic Policy in Britain, 1974-1987, 1991, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Bruce Caldwell (ed.), The Collected Works of F.A. Hayek: vol. 9, Contra Keynes and Cambridge.

Friedrich A. Hayek, Prices and Production, 1931, London, George Routledge & Sons.

John Hicks, Methods of Dynamic Economics, 1985, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

John Hicks, Capital & Time; A Neo-Austrian Theory, 1973, Clarendon Press: Oxford.

Susan Howson (ed.), The Collected Papers of James Meade (4. vols), 1990, Unwin Hyman.

Richard F. Kahn, The Making of Keynes' General Theory, 1984, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

John Maynard Keynes, The General Theory, in D. Moggridge (ed.), The Collected Writings of John Maynard Keynes, vol. XIII, The General Theory and After, Part 1, Preparation, Macmillan, Cambridge University Press for the Royal Economic Society, first published 1973, pbk reprint with corrections, 1987.

Robert Leonard, Von Neumann, Morgenstern, and the Creation of Game Theory: From Chess to Social Science, 1900-1960, 2010, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

George Loewenstein and John Elster, Choice Over Time, 1992, New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

Gerald P. O'Driscoll Jr. and Mario J. Rizzo, The Economics of Time and Ignorance, 1985, Basil Blackwell: Oxford.

Avner Offer, 'Understanding The Private-Public Divide: Markets, Governments and Time Horizons', 2020, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Martin Chick
Tel: (0131 6)50 3842
Course secretaryMiss Claire Brown
Tel: (0131 6)50 3582
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