How Economists Have Treated Advertising: 18901940

Kent M. Lancaster
Duke O. Yaguchi

This article presents the results of a historical analysis of how economists have treated advertising. The first part states the hypotheses and sets forth the methodology. The second part chronologically summarizes the basic issues presented in each of 24 journal articles and books dealing with the economic effects of advertising and published between 1890 and 1940. It also highlights the views of economists on how advertising had been or should have been treated in the economic literature, on why advertising sometimes had not been fairly assessed in economic literature and on why it should have been treated differently. The third section details and synthesizes the findings and provides conclusions and implications for future research.