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The Economic Organization (1933, 1951)

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During his tenure at the University of Iowa in the 1920s, Frank Knight began to write a textbook on economics. Despite numerous attempts from the 1920s to the 1940s, he never completed the textbook. However, a central part of the earliest textbook attempt -- the chapters on price theory and social organization -- were incorporated into the syllabus for a second-year general social sciences course at The University of Chicago in 1932. A year later, The Economic Organization -- a small bound copy of the four chapters from the second-year syllabus -- was born. During the 1930s and 1940s, copies of Knight's "little textbook" circulated among students at Chicago and elsewhere. In 1951, Augustus M. Kelley published The Economic Organization publicly for the first time.

The Economic Organization is notable for its clear exposition of the basic elements of price theory; its introduction of the circular flow diagram for micro-(rather than macro-)economic purposes; and its statement of the basic functions of an economic system. Textbooks throughout the post-war period have been indebted to it.

Original Publication

Knight, Frank H. 1932. "Social Economic Organization," "The Price System and the Economic Process," "Demand and Supply and Price," and "Distribution: The Pricing of Productive Services Individually." In Second-Year Course in the Social Sciences (Social Science II), selected by Social Science Staff, preliminary edition. Chicago: University of Chicago.


Subsequent Publication History

Knight, Frank H. 1933. The Economic Organization. Chicago: University of Chicago.

Knight, Frank H. 1951. The Economic Organization: with an Article, "Notes on Cost and Utility". New York: A. M. Kelley.

Purchase The Economic Organization (1951) on Amazon

 

Knight, Frank H. 1965 [1951]. The Economic Organization: with an Article, "Notes on Cost and Utility". The Academic Library, Harper Torchbooks. New York: Harper & Row.

Purchase The Economic Organization (1965) on Amazon

 

Knight, Frank H. 1967 [1951]. The Economic Organization: with an Article, "Notes on Cost and Utility". Reprints of Economic Classics. New York: Augustus M. Kelley.


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Last updated: 18-Feb-2010