TAKE-HOME EXAM: Short Essay (25%)
PAPM 1000: Intro to Public Affairs and Policy Management; History of Economic Thought
Due date: February 26 2018, at the beginning of class (5% penalty for each additional day).
Five pages per essay (around 1700 words + cover page + Bibliography).
The essay must include an introduction, a body (outlining the main arguments), and a conclusion. The introduction normally represents 10% of the essay. It must: 1-introduce the
topic, 2-introduce the central question of the essay and 3-list how you will tackle the issue
(First, the essay will explore… Second the essay will address… etc…). The conclusion must
summarize the main idea of the essay and, preferably, should point to broader questions or
challenges related to the topic.
All references must be listed in the bibliography. See the syllabus for help about how to use
quotes and paraphrases. Your research you should go beyond the required reading material,
and that should be reflected in the bibliography (which should list around 5 references).
Your essay must address one of the following questions:
1. The cornerstone of the liberal conception of the economy, the Inquiry into the Nature
and Causes of the Wealth of Nations  by Adam Smith, is first and foremost a
frontal attack against the “mercantile system.” In its place, Adam Smith proposes the
metaphor of the “invisible hand”. Compare the economic conceptions of Smith and
the mercantilists, and explain how the notion of the “invisible hand” is a radical
critique of the “mercantile system”.
2. Conceptions of the nature of wealth and of the nature of the community vary
according to different authors. What is the wealth of the community and how can we
accumulate it? Compare the ideas of Aristotle, Adam Smith and Friedrich List.
3. Why is it necessary for David Ricardo to provide a theory of value and a theory of
growth to explain distribution of wealth between the 3 main social classes (workers,
landlords and capitalists)?
4. At the beginning of the XIXth Century, the economic condition of the working
classes was considered to be miserable. Many authors debated this issue and offered
very different interpretations of this misery and what should be done about it.
Compare and contrast the views of Thomas Robert Malthus, Charles Fourier and
5. For classical liberals, respecting the cardinal values of liberty, equality and property
leads to social justice because everyone gets according to their merits. For Karl Marx,
it is because we respect the same cardinal values that we end up with systemic
exploitation. Explain why Marx believes that the bourgeois economic order, in which
dominates the values of liberty/equality/property, is characterized by systemic
alienation and exploitation.
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