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Free Lunch: Easily Digestible Economics by David Smith

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12Just desserts – the Americans

Why did economics come to be dominated by America, and Americans, after 1945? With Europe ravaged by war and oppression, America’s universities became a haven for European intellectuals displaced from their homelands. This was not just true in economics, of course, but it provided a significant boost for the subject. America, too, had fewer hang-ups about economics, which perhaps has something to do with the nature of its society. In Britain economics had a long battle against intellectual snobs who insisted that it was not quite a proper subject. The late Eric Roll, in his A History of Economic Thought, saw it as a natural consequence of Britain’s displacement as a global economic power:

It is not surprising that ...

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