"The Market for Political Economy" presents the first detailed account of the emergence of economics as a university discipline in Britain in the later nineteenth century. The contributors--all historians and economists with considerable research experience in the field--shed light on the history of economics. Although scholars assumed that the complexities of a modern industrial economy would require a greater number of trained economists, this study shows that academic economics actually developed slowly. It was not until the 1920s that businesses and government agencies began to seek employees with academic training in economics.
The book traces the development of the teaching of political economy in the second half of the nineteenth century, with particular emphasis on the extension movement, the development of civic universities, and Marshall's work in establishing the Economics tripos at Cambridge. The essays provide a different perspective on the development of adult education and the function of university education in a modernizing society. They also focus on the institutional conditions within which economic ideas develop, and their role in shaping economic thought.
"There has been a long wait for this volume--but the wait has been worth it. What comes through is a major substantive contribution that will be of general interest to economists with historical curiosity and of very particular interest to the international team of scholars involved in the "Institutionalization of Political Economy" project launched a decade ago."
-William J. Barber, Wesleyan University