Annual Conference


The 48th annual UK History of Economic Thought Conference  took place in Shanghai, China from the 2nd until the 4th of September 2016 and was hosted by Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (SUFE). The decision to hold the annual conference outside the UK was an exceptional one, although not completely unprecedented since the conference had once before taken place in Groningen, the Netherlands.

The 2015 conference had been attended by SUFE Professor Wang Fang, who had informed the members of the society about the great interest in the study of the history of economic thought at her institution. Together with Professor Terry Peach of Manchester University and local students at SUFE the idea of holding the UK HET conference in Shanghai was realised.

Within China it is rare for a university with a high academic ranking like SUFE to have a community of academics and post-graduate students that focus their research on the study of the history of economic thought. The conference attracted paper presenters from across the world including Australia, Canada, the UK and of course China. It proved to be a fascinating exchange of sometimes contrasting views and a great stimulus to extending the study of the history of economic ideas beyond its traditional European and North American boundaries.

Below the group photo is the conference programme  and further information about SUFE may be found at


Conference Programme

Thursday,   September 1st

09:00-18:00 Arrival and Registration: Howard Johnson Caida Plaza
18:00-20:00 Reception: Howard Johnson Caida Plaza

Friday,   September 2nd   Venue: Room 511, School of Economics, SHUFE

08:30-08:45 Registration: Room 511, School of Economics, SHUFE
08:45-09:00 Welcome Remarks: Cheng Lin (Chairman of Department of Economic History)
09:0010:30 Session I (Chair: John Vint)



Richard Van Den Berg (Kingston University): “Chinese Influences on the Formation of Classical Political Economy: Some Critical Reflections”.

09:4510:30 Renee Prendergast (Queen’s University, Belfast): “Bernard Mandeville on the Possibility of Morality in Commercial Society.”
10:30-11:00 Group Photo: Floor 1, School of Economics, SHUFE



Session II (Chair: James Forder)





Ryan Walter (University of Queensland): “Smith’s Invisible Hand in Malthus and Ricardo”.



Nobuhiko Nakazawa (Kansai University, Osaka): “On the Development of Malthus’s Reformist Ideas”.


Lunch: Howard Johnson Caida Plaza




14:00-15:30 Session III (Chair: Richard Van Den Berg)



Margaret Schabas (University of British Columbia): “Mill and Coleridge on the Commercial Spirit”.

14:45-15:30 John Vint (Manchester Metropolitan University): “J.S. Mill’s Bargaining Theory of Wages”.
15:30-16:00 Coffee Break


16:0017:30 Session IV (Chair: Renee Prendergast)



Steve Kates (RMIT University, Melbourne): “Classical Economics Explained: Understanding Pre-Keynesian Economic Theory”.

16:4517:30 Craig Freedman (Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales): “A Tale of Two Cities: A Priori Assumptions and A Priori Conclusions”.
18:00-20:00 Welcome Dinner: Howard Johnson Caida Plaza
20:30-21:00 THETS AGM (Venue TBC)

Saturday,   September 3rd   Venue: Room 511, School of Economics, SHUFE

08:45-08:55 Introduction to the Session on the Political Economy of the Han Dynasty and its Legacy: Terry Peach (University of Manchester)
08:5510:25 Session I (Chair: Zhong Xiangcai)




Bertram Schefold (University of Frankfurt): “A ‘Western’ Interpretation of the Yan Tie Lun“.

09:4010:25 Terry Peach (University of Manchester): “Sima Qian and Laissez Faire: a Reconsideration”.
10:25-10:40 Coffee Break



Session II (Chair: Terry Peach)







Zhong Xiangcai (Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences): “From School to State Ideology: Confucian Economic Thought in the Han”.


Cheng Nianqi (Shanghai Academy of social Sciences): “Wang Mang and the Controlled Economy”.




Lunch: Howard Johnson Caida Plaza





Session III (Chair: Liang Jie)


Ma Tao and Li Wei (Fudan University): “Monetary, Fiscal and Taxation Systems in the Han”.

14:35-15:10 Li Chaomin (Shanghai University of Finance and Economics): “The System of Tribute Equalisation in the Han”.
15:10-15:45 Wang Fang (Shanghai University of Finance and Economics): “The ‘Land Quota System’ in the Han and its Historical Influence”.
15:4516:00 Coffee Break






Session IV (Chair: Li Chaomin)


Zhao Mairu (Northwestern University): “State Intervention in the Han”.


16:35-17:10 Cheng Lin (Shanghai University of Finance and Economics) and Zhang Shen (Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences): “From Contention to Unification: The Transition of Economic Thought in the Han Dynasty and Its Legacy”.
18:00 Dinner (to be held at a restaurant in the Pudong district of the city)

Sunday, September 4th   Venue: Room 511, School of Economics, SHUFE


08:4510:15 Session I (Chair: Terry Peach)



Jeremy Shearmur (Australian National University): “No ‘Thought Collective’: On Some Tensions in the Early Mont Pèlerin Society”.

09:3010:15 Li Weisen (Fudan University): “The Diffusion of F. A. Hayek’s Thought in Mainland China and Taiwan”
10:15-10:45 Coffee Break



Session II (Chair: John Vint)

10:45-11:30 Bob Dimand (Brock University): “John Maynard Keynes narrates the Great




James Forder (Balliol College, Oxford): “A Reassessment of Milton Friedman’s Presidential Address to the American Economic Association”.
12:15-12:30 Closing Ceremony


Lunch: Howard Johnson Caida Plaza