Title: Jane Austen and the economic way of thinking

Authors: Darwyyn Deyo

Addresses: Department of Economics, George Mason University, 4400 University Dr., Fairfax, VA 22030, USA

Abstract: Jane Austen was an Enlightenment-era philosopher who engaged in the economic way of thinking. She shared the moral sentiments philosophy of Adam Smith, and the two authors act as a bridge to understanding the other's perspective on a changing world. Austen's economic way of thinking can be understood by analysing three major issues in her novels: poverty, human capital accumulation, and the marriage market. She also wrote extensively on trade-offs, opportunity costs, incentives, unintended consequences, and other concepts familiar to modern economists. As a student of human behaviour, Austen's novels provide readers with a new approach to the economic way of thinking.

Keywords: Jane Austen; Adam Smith; history of thought; economics; Enlightenment; novels; human capital accumulation; informal markets; moral sentiments; poverty; marriage market; economic thought; trade-offs; opportunity costs; incentives; unintended consequences; human behaviour.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPEE.2016.078850

International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education, 2016 Vol.7 No.2, pp.170 - 182

Received: 30 Jun 2015
Accepted: 14 Dec 2015

Published online: 03 Sep 2016 *

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