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The "Chicago School" is perhaps one of the better known American "schools"
of economics. In its strictest sense, the "Chicago School" refers to the
approach of the members of the Department of Economics at the University
of Chicago over the past century. In a looser sense, the term "Chicago
School" is associated with a particular brand of economics which adheres
strictly to Neoclassical price theory in its economic analysis, "free
market" libertarianism in much of its policy work and a methodology which
is relatively averse to too much mathematical formalism and willing to
forego careful general equilibrium reasoning in favor of more
results-oriented partial equilibrium analysis. In recent years, the
"Chicago School" has been associated with "economic imperialism", i.e. the
application of economic reasoning to areas traditionally considered the
prerogative of other fields such as political science, legal theory,
history and sociology.
In the 1960s, the department began to congeal into a new shape, led by
George J. Stigler and Milton Friedman. This is what became the "Second"
Chicago School, which is perhaps the most famous and polemical one.
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Last modified: April 01, 2002