The United States is a big country and the most important member in the camp of developed countries. Studying the historical development experience of the United States as a late-developing country that eventually surpassed the rise of Britain as a superpower can provide a reference for China’s own development. Chinese scholars often refer to this kind of research as " crossing the river by feeling for ‘America’”. And when we explore the direction of China’s economic development, this method can also be used. Chinese economics is a big country’s economics, which can draw the experience and lessons of theoretical development from the history of American economics, which is also a big country’s economics. This paper finds that from the 19th century to the present, the three sets of economic theory systems, such as the American School, the American Institutional School and Neoclassical Economics, have dominated the US economic research and economic policy planning in turn. By matching the stage characteristics of American economics and economic thoughts with the staged periods of China’s economic existence, we can find the future development direction of China’s economic theory, and remind scholars to carry out relevant research in advance. By combing the " American experience”of the development of economic theories, we explore the construction and future development of Chinese economics, and get some conclusions and inspirations: （1）If the national economy is at a different stage of development, the research objects and objectives of economics should be adjusted accordingly. Economic theories which cannot adapt to changes in the stage of national development will inevitably lose their mainstream status, thereby being marginalized and eventually withdrawing from the historical arena.（2）Neoclassical Economics is the economic theory adopted by the United States in the superpower stage. The reason why it can eliminate the American School and the American Institutional School is that Neoclassical Economics attaches great importance to the international economy.（3）The Chinese economy should pay attention to the construction of a theoretical system of international economics with Chinese characteristics. At the same time, it should start the accumulation of relevant theoretical materials and the exploration and research of theoretical foundations as soon as possible, in order to better serve the needs of building a socialist modernization country. The main contributions of this paper are as follows: （1）The evolution of American economic thoughts since 1815 is sorted out and divided into three stages, and the relationship between economic thoughts and economic reality is explained, which provides a relatively complete picture for understanding the evolution of American mainstream economic thoughts.（2）From the perspectives of the development stage of the great powers, the sources of competitiveness of the Neoclassical Economic Theory, and the defects of the Comparative Advantage Theory, we argue that the construction of China’s economic theory can draw lessons from American economic thoughts and their evolution process, and perfect its own theoretical system and content construction.
The Evolution of American Economic Thoughts and Its Enlightenment to Chinese Economics
Journal of Finance and Economics Vol. 45, Issue 07, pp. 17 - 30 (2019) DOI:10.16538/j.cnki.jfe.2019.07.002
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Cite this article
Zhou Wen, Feng Wentao. The Evolution of American Economic Thoughts and Its Enlightenment to Chinese Economics[J]. Journal of Finance and Economics, 2019, 45(7): 17-30.