Not only is classical economics useful to study for historical and pedagogical purposes, it is also a vibrant intellectual force in today’s world.
Many of the most prominent think tanks in the world openly expose free market ideas.
In fact, four of the most notable free market thinkers and Nobel Laureates, Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, James Buchanan, and Vernon Smith, all hold honorary degrees from the Universidad.
Regardless of whether one is sympathetic or critical of classical economics, this branch of study is both an historical and logical foundation for further study in economics at large. This is partially because these ideas historically form the background that later, more collectivist styles of thinking respond to.
Before one can understand modern Keynesianism, or give an informed analysis of the trickle down effect, one must first be acquainted with the ideas developed by men like Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, Carl Menger, Ludwig von Mises, Henry Hazlitt, and F. However, on a more conceptual level classical economics is vital to understand because of its simplicity. They want to limit government intervention and allow nature to run its course.
The reason for this dramatic thawing of the barriers to classical thinking in the university largely comes from University of Chicago professor Milton Friedman.
Friedman, and the others whom he inspired and collaborated with, are credited with creating the Chicago School of economic thinking and the fresh water school of macroeconomics, (as opposed to the salt water school historically espoused by places like Harvard, MIT, and Berkeley).
Finally, the school also publishes an online quarterly newsletter titled “UFM Market Trends” as the “21st century equivalent of Friedrich Hayek’s business cycle monitor applied to modern markets.” During the 1960’s the vast majority of economics departments in the United States leaned left.