Spring 2024

Well-Being and Economic Thought

Listed in: Economics, as ECON-276


Daniel P. Barbezat (Section 01)


“Economics” is often defined as the study of the allocation of scarce resources. But what do we want to achieve from this allocation? We seem to want some idea of well-being – either for ourselves, certain groups or for a society at large. Economics is essentially the study of how we and the societies around us provide opportunities (sometimes only for selected groups…) to attain and sustain well-being given the constraints faced. This course analyzes the idea of economic “well-being” (utility) and examines the different ways in which the history of economic thought has conceived of well-being from antiquity to the present day, in part to study how these conceptions of well-being have affected economic analysis. We will examine the long history of this question with an emphasis on the contemporary period, looking carefully at neoclassical thought and its “heterodox” critics.

Requisite: ECON 111/111E or its equivalent. Limited to 30 students. Spring semester. Professor Barbezat.

How to handle overenrollment: Limit to first 30 then petition professor beyond that

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Written work, group work, and quantitative work.

ECON 276 - LEC

Section 01
M 02:30 PM - 03:50 PM
W 02:30 PM - 03:50 PM