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HS 240 3-0-0-6

Classical Political Economy

This course will familiarize students with the works of three major classical thinkers Smith, Ricardo and
Marx. It will enable students to understand the historical contexts that led to the development of certain
concepts, perspectives and ideologies in economics. It will also encourage critical and heterodox thinking
within the discipline of economics.

Introducing classical political economy: Historical and philosophical genesis, major questions raised,
neoclassical critique of classical economics; Adam Smith: Division of labour, theory of value, growth and
distribution, views on trade (absolute advantage); David Ricardo: Labour theory of value, theory of rent,
growth and distribution, views on trade (comparative advantage); Karl Marx: modes of production,
dynamics of social change (primitive communism, slavery, feudalism, capitalism, socialism, communism,
Asiatic mode of production), theory of value, surplus value and profit, simple and extended reproduction,
crises of capitalism; The classical synthesis: synthesizing the ideas of Malthus, Adam Smith, Ricardo and
Marx; Critique of neoclassical economics; Indian colonialism


E. Secrepanti and S. Zamagni, An Outline of the History of Economic Thought, Second Edition, OUP,
New Delhi, 2006

J. Borchardt, The Peoples Marx Abridged Popular Edition of the Three Volumes of Capital,
(Translated by S. L. Trask), Prajasakti Book House, Hyderabad, 2011

A. Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of Wealth of Nations, first published in 1901, Current
edition, New York, 2011

D. Ricardo, On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation, London, 1817