Schools of economic thought

The schools of economic thought, or simply economic schools, are formed by the groups of economic ideologies.

A school of economic thought or current of economic thought is formed by a set of economic ideas. In general, schools of economic thought focus on indicating how the economy should work. That is, how the economy is supposed to be.

In this sense, it is an aspect of normative economics . That is, normative economics tells what it should be (economic schools). On the other hand, the positive economy is the one that tries to indicate how it really is (economic theory).

All said, when we talk about economic schools we are not talking about schools in the sense of colleges, institutes or universities. Some schools are named after cities, for example, the Chicago school because it is where they came from. Even so, this does not mean that all the followers of the Chicago school are from there or have studied in Chicago.

Main economic schools

Since the origin of economics, many economic schools of different kinds have emerged. Without doubt, economic schools are constantly changing and evolving. The main economic schools are:

  • Ancient and Medieval Economy
  • Salamanca School
  • Mercantilism
  • Physiocracy
  • Classical school
  • Neoclassical school
  • Marxism
  • Austrian school
  • Keynesianism
  • Chicago School
  • Institutional Economy
  • Neoliberalism

In addition to these economic schools, there are many others of smaller or smaller scope. At the same time, some schools have had, as he says, offspring. That is, parallel schools have been developed with variations in some aspects.

The latter is mainly due to the fact that not all followers of an economic school think alike in everything. For example, not all voters of a political party agree with all the ideas of the political party. However, by affinity they vote. Something similar happens here.

Which economic school is better?

While it is true that some economic schools have become obsolete over time or have proved incomplete, there are no better or worse economic schools. There are studies that support each other.

Ultimately, affinity with an economic school depends fundamentally on the ideas of the author. There are liberal economists and communist economists. An economist is not better or worse because he belongs to a certain economic school.

The most important thing, always, is to encourage debate between currents of thought in an argued and grounded way. During the last century, although the matter comes from afar (since Adam Smith) there have been enraged struggles for reason. Many economists have disqualified others for their economic thoughts.

Under this prism, if there is something in which history and academia coincide, it is that the followers of other schools cannot be disqualified under any circumstances. A serious debate must focus on economic arguments and ideas, but never on generalist attacks.

 

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