Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Man Who Discovered Capitalism: A Documentary on Schumpeter for Use in the Classroom

Dalton, John and Logan, Andrew (2021): The Man Who Discovered Capitalism: A Documentary on Schumpeter for Use in the Classroom.

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Abstract

We describe how the 2016 documentary The Man Who Discovered Capitalism can be used in the classroom to provide an entry point to the life and economics of Joseph A. Schumpeter, whose work on innovation, entrepreneurship, and creative destruction remains relevant for students today. We summarize the key ideas conveyed in the documentary and offer four criticisms: its failure to capture the role of fin-de-siecle Vienna on Schumpeter's intellectual development, its incomplete understanding of Schumpeter's theory of innovation, its overstatement of Keynes's influence relative to Schumpeter, and the overly generous credit it gives to government for spurring innovation. We show how the documentary can be used in the classroom, complete with sample discussion questions grounded in the criticisms we identify. We argue The Man Who Discovered Capitalism is an effective teaching tool suitable for a variety of courses, including those on economic growth, intermediate macroeconomics, and the history of economic thought, among others.

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