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This graph attempts to map the position of various schools of economic thinking including "Marginalist" and "Keynesian" onto the network of institutions and people. It also highlights the economists involved in policymaking and the civil service.



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[ How to Read this Graph ] [ How we use data ]

    Start by locating the nodes representing the schools of thought, depicted in yellow. There is a good deal of information captured in this graph and many patterns to explore. Here are a couple to get started.

    The two yellow nodes to the left all have to do with history. At the top is the discipline of History itself, practiced without economic methods. Unsurprisingly, in this graph of economists, it seems rather isolated. Below it is the node respresenting Economic History, which is significantly more central and not coincidentally located right between Cambridge and Oxford.

    In the middle of the graph a bit below center is the node representing "Marginalism and Marshallianism." So central to Marshall's theoretical apparatus, Marginalism was foundational for the majority of prominent subsequent economists both at Cambridge and elsewhere. By comparison, the competing "Historical School," which is shown further to the bottom towards the left seems, ironically, marginalized. It huddles by the Oxford node, though it is connected with Herbert Foxwell, who engaged in bitter debates with Marshall.

    The Keynesians and those opposed to Keynes appear near the bottom right between the LSE and Cambridge. They are drawn together, which makes sense, given that they were frequent interlocutors.

    This graph uses the same parameters as the first one featured on this site, "People and Institutions." It incorporates all of the data in that first map and adds only the connections between individuals and schools of thought, policy, and the civil service. These additions result in the graph taking a different shape.

    There is a danger in identifying specific schools of thought as they are categories with porous and fluctuating boundaries. Some, like the school of thought associated with the LSE, changed so dramatically over the course of the early 20th century from that founded by Beatrice and Sidney Webb to that dominated by Lionel Robbins, that two nodes were created: one for the early LSE and one for the late. These decisions are intended to be suggestive rather than definitive.

    The schools of thought that have been identified are the following:

    Not "Keynesianism"
    Late LSE
    Early LSE
    Economic History
    Historical School

    The "Keynesian" and "Not Keynesian" are clearly defined oppositionally. Marshallianism and Historical School are similarly oppositional. The Late and Early LSE both appear very close to one another and so their independence does not affect the shape of the graph a great deal. Potentially the most problematic category, "History" is associated, for the most part, with individuals who were very loosely connected to others on the map and so also has minimal affect on the overall shape of the graph. 

    Nodes are sized based on the number of connections they have. It should also be noted that certain institutional connections are reflected on the graph. A central "Cambridge" node connects to all Cambridge colleges and faculties. Similarly, all the Oxford, University of London, Wales, and Dublin institutions are connected.

    For general information on sources, refer to the "Scope and Sources" page on the project homepage.