Beatrice Cherrier's blog

A History of the JEL Codes: Should There be a Separate "Economic Theory" Category? [Part 2]

 I've been toying with the disappearance of the Theory category for a while, yet it is still unclear to me how the story below should be interpreted. Does it reflect a change in the pecking order between theory and empirical work, as once suggested by Krugman? A change in theoretical work itself? And if so, how to characterize it? The requirement that applications should be built in theoretical thinking ('applied theory')? Or the standard that a theoretical intuition be presented alongside application/ empirical work in scholarly articles? Read more

A History of the JEL Codes: Classifying Economics During the War [Part 1]

In the spring of 1940, as the war in Europe escalated and the likelihood of American involvement grew greater and greater, scientists understood that they would soon be drafted to help national defense planning. In an effort to control the process, several scholarly oriented institutions, including the Social Science Research Council and the American Council of Learned Societies recommended the establishment of “a national agency for the registry and procurement of scientific personnel.” Christened the National Roster of Scientific and Specialized Personnel, the governmental organization set out to send a general questionnaire and a disciplinary “technical check list” of subject matters to all scientists in the country. Read more

Macrowars, economists' narratives, and my dreamed history of macro

Economists' macro stories Read more

In which MIT decided to teach micro first so as to make economics more relevant

I've already blogged on how undergraduate education evolved at MIT in the postwar era here and here, but since Mike Konczal and Paul Krugman make the case that, to bring introductory economics closer to the real world, macro should be taught before micro as Samuelson did in the first 13 editions of his Economi Read more

Economic theory declassified?

So, most Nobel Prize exegetes went a long way, this week, toward explaining that asset pricing is not primarily born out of theoretical reflection but out of prize-deserving empirical work.John Cochrane, for instance, writes about efficient markets that: Read more

The Political Economy of the Nobel Prize, 45th edition

This morning, when I woke up a few hours before the Nobel announcement, I felt seriously dissatisfied. I had meant to write a post on Thomson Reuters's prediction that Card, Angrist and Krueger may win the Nobel for their work on empirical microeconomics. I thought that such prediction would come true, sooner or later, because of the irresistible development of empirical economics in the past 50 years, one illustrated by the list of John Bates Clark medalists. Such expansion, fostered by the increasing availability of data and computing resources, could itself be recast as part of an even larger move toward making economics an applied science. Read more

The rise of economics as engineering II: the case of MIT

Looming behind the aforementioned narratives of postwar economics is a notion – economics as engineering – which at times appears as a metaphor and at times stands for a straight depiction of economists' professional milieu and practices. Also, it is used to characterize both highly theoretical undertakings element and some everyday engagement with policy making. As exemplified by Mankiw's remark that, all but one top selling macro textbooks from the 1980s as well as the 2000s wee written by MIT economists, MIT is one relevant site for the investigation of the nature and significance of the “engineering” comparison. Read more

A chronology of economics at Carnegie (in progress)

To illustrate the previous post on the difficulties in putting together a chronology, here is tentative chronology of economics at Carnegie. It's still in process, and links, sources and entries will be updated as I read. Read more