Schools of economic thought


Schools of economic thought, or simply economic schools, are made up of groupings of economic ideologies.

A school of economic thought or current of economic thought is made up of a set of economic ideas. In general, schools of economic thought focus on indicating how the economy should work. I mean, how the economy is supposed to be.

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

Difference between positive and normative economics

Everything be 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 that is where they arose. Still, this is not to say 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 different kinds of economic schools have arisen. Undoubtedly, economic schools are continually changing and evolving. The main economic schools are:

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

In addition to these economic schools, there are many others of smaller or smaller scope. At the same time, some schools have had, like the one who says, offspring. In other words, 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 the same about everything. For example, not all voters of a political party agree with all the ideas of the political party. However, by affinity they vote for it. Something similar happens here.

Which economics school is better?

While it is true that some economic schools have become outdated or incomplete over time, there are no better or worse economic schools.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

Ultimately, the 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 particular school of economics.

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 issue comes from afar (since Adam Smith) there have been raging struggles for reason. Many economists have disqualified others for their economic thoughts.

From this point of view, if there is one thing that history and academia agree on, it is that followers of other schools cannot be disqualified under any circumstances. A serious debate should focus on economic arguments and ideas, but never on generalist attacks.

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