Over the past forty years, economists associated with the University of Chicago have won more than one-third of the Nobel prizes awarded in their discipline and have been major influences on American public policy. Building Chicago Economics presents the first collective attempt by social science historians to chart the rise and development of the Chicago School during the decades that followed the Second World War. Drawing on new research in published and archival sources, contributors examine the people, institutions, and ideas that established the foundations for the success of Chicago economics and thereby positioned it as a powerful and controversial force in American political and intellectual life.
“Building Chicago Economics brings together some of the best minds in the history of economic thought to offer a most valuable assessment of the science and politics of Chicago economists in the postwar period. A real page turner, this multifaceted and wonderfully researched volume reveals the continuities and discontinuities of Chicago economics over time, the ideological and methodological conflicts among its members, their domestic and international influence, and the struggles of a putative ‘school’ with the rest of the profession. It is a major, and much needed, contribution to the history and sociology of modern economics.” – Marion Fourcade, University of California, Berkley
“The Chicago School of Economics defined itself against institutional and historical approaches to economic thought, but the deeply researched essays in this collection do a tremendous service by bringing those very methodologies to bear on the rise of the Chicago tradition.” – Kimberly K. Phillips-Fein, New York University
“This is an excellent collection of essays: it is an important addition to the previous work of Van Horn and Mirowski on the early development of Chicago neoliberalism, and a significant contribution to the literature on post-1945 American economics. Taken together these essays reveal a great deal concerning the institutional foundations of Chicago economics, its development and variation over time and persons, and its explicit policy orientation. Most of all, the book contains an extended discussion of the key issue of the relationship between Chicago economics and neoliberal ideological commitments.” – Malcolm Rutherford, University of Victoria, Canada