A. W. Coats has made a unique contribution to the history of economic thought, economic methodology and the sociology of economics. To date, most of his work has been in the form of articles which are scattered widely in journals, most of which are not easily accessible. This series of three volumes makes his most important contributions widely available in a permanent form. br br b /b b i On the History of Economic Thought /i /b is introduced by an essay in intellectual autobiography outlining the development of Coats' key ideas and the distinctive elements of his approach. Two key themes are: the difference between British and American economics, both in content and in the practice of the profession; and the interrelationships between economic ideas, events or conditions, and policy issues. br br The essays in this volume cover subjects from the late seventeenth century to the late twentieth century, from the Mercantilists to Adam Smith and Alfred Marshall. Essays on the early American institutionalists will be of particular interest due to the current revival of interest in this topic. The book concludes with an assessment of the current state of the discipline, with a discussion of the advantages available to a historian of economics as a commentator on recent developments. Volumes II and III, now in preparation, will cover i The Methodology of Economics /i and i The Sociology and Methodology of /i i Economics. /i
"[Coats] was the single figure who by exhortation and example managed to keep the sociology of economics alive . . . . His urbane style and catholic tastes are an inspiration to us all."
-Philip Mirowski, University of Notre Dame
"For decades Bob Coats has been contributing in the journals to an extraordinary range of the most interesting topics and issues . . . . It is very good news indeed, for those interested in the history and method of economics, that the Coats oeuvre is now to collected in a more permanent form."
-T.W. Hutchison, Professor Emeritus, University of Birmingham