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37. The International Diffusion of Economic Thought

José Luís Cardoso

Subject Economics » History of Thought

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631225737.2003.00042.x


Nowadays, any mention of the problem of the international diffusion of economic thought would seem to dispense with the need for justification or explanation. Indeed, the very conditions and forms under which economic knowledge is produced and circulated inevitably imply processes of creation and sharing in which geographical and language barriers have been progressively eliminated. The standardized levels of conceptual formalization and the almost unanimous acceptance of similar techniques and instruments of analysis have made a decisive contribution toward the formation of universal languages with a high potential for international communication. Above all, attention needs to be drawn to the ease with which new research avenues and hypotheses are transmitted and disseminated, together with new experiments and results, and new knowledge about economic reality. There is nothing original in claiming that the international transmission of economic thought is a normal and recurrent phenomenon. Almost half a century ago, this diagnosis was presented by T. W. Hutchison: With the vastly increased number of translations and of widely circulating specialist journals, including international journals, and with the increasingly mathematical character of advanced economic analysis, it seems, on the whole, very unlikely that good new ideas, whenever or wherever they do arise, will not have ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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