Roger Backhouse and Bradley Bateman: How can history stimulate new economic thinking?

[The following text was sent to us by Roger Backhouse and Bradley Bateman, we reproduce it in its entirety.] Read more

Backhouse and Bateman want Worldly Philosophers, not only dentists; not everyone agrees

Professors Roger Backhouse and Brad Bateman wrote an op-ed for the New York Times a few days ago, arguing that "thanks to decades of academic training in the “dentistry” approach to economics, today’s Keynes or Friedman is nowhere to be found" - we have stopped thinking big they say. Read more

Does Economics blogging open new conversations ? (Part I)

This is the question I'm supposed to answer for an experimental INET conference aimed at inspiring new thinking through interdisciplinary conversation and collective reflection without rules. Read more

Nobel Prize Tasseology

Till is right. It's not the historian's task to question the legitimacy of the decisions of the Nobel Committee. What he can do instead is “describe the culture in which credit is given.” For the Nobel prize does not only work as a canonization device. It also aims at establishing a genealogy of heros that fits the concerns of the days. In this perspective, “reading” and/ or “interpreting” this year's prize is less straightforward that many have argued. Read more

Bretton Woods, Past and Present: 3. Models in Economics

I cannot resist but to start quoting Mary Morgan's second entry to the second edition of the New Palgrave: “Modeling became the dominant methodology of economics during the 20th century.” If models were not a “recognized category in discussions about methodology” in the late 19th century, they have become central to economics after the 1930s. Models are “complex objects constructed out of many resources” that come from disparate sources and serve as measuring instruments (as argued by Marcel Boumans in his 2005 book How Economists Model the World into Numbers), and are autonomous agents that mediate theories and the real world (as argued by Mary Morgan and Margaret Morrison in their chapter to the 1999 edited volume Models as Mediators). And, returning to the Palgrave entry, models function in different ways for different purposes: Read more

Progress in Economics: A Comment

I thought I could use some of my illegitimate blog administrator's privileges to participate in the discussion on the "progress in economics" post by Floris without being lost in the midst of other users' comments. What strikes me both in the video interviews and in the related comments is how it lacks historical and sociological understanding. Of course, it strikes me because we are first and mostly a history of economics blog with a strong interest in the methodology of science studies but I do not think that this lack is solely annoying from an historian's or a sociologist's perspective. Rather, I think it is problematic on a much larger level.  Read more