Beatrice Cherrier

Jedi by day, wanabee historian of economics by night. 

Battlefield: Initially studied some postwar economists' writings and intimate worldviews. Now trying to figure out how and under which influences those idiosyncratic visions confront, compromise and combine into groups, departments, schools, institutions, communities, subdisciplines and eventually economics as a science, a public object, a culture. Current targets: JEL codes, coordination failures, public economics, urban economics,macroscale models, and all things applied. 

Favorite weapon: archive work. Looking at oral history with terror and at new methods such as network analysis and quantitative prosopography with awe and a tint of skepticism

Strategy: writing history of economics not only as a history of theorizing but also as a tale of educating, recruiting, funding, advising, engineering, applying, popularizing, fighting, talking, reading, hearing, innovating, failing, etc.

Looking for: Fun, feedback and suggestions

Academic identification: Beatrice Cherrier is assistant professor at the University of Caen, where she researches alongside social choice theorists and teaches in the urban studies and social work department. Prior to that, she conducted archive-based research on the history of economics at MIT, funded by the Center for the History of Political Economy at Duke University. She completed her history of economics Ph.D. on “The Relationships Between Economists’ Values and Their Science: The Case of Gunnar Myrdal, Jacob Marschak and Milton Friedman” in November 2008 at the University of Paris X-Nanterre, France. She also writes for the Institute for New Economic Thinking’s History of Economics Playground blog and participated in the Institute’s Bridging Silos, Breaking Silences conference in November 2011.

More information here; just started twitting @undercoverhist

My Content

Diane Coyle is asking why most history of economics' narratives end up with Keynes. My response is : 

1. No, it's not. There has been a surge in history of postwar economics research in the past 15 years. The transformation of economics in the Cold War era in now well-understood, and less is know about the 1965-1985 era (a flaw many researchers, including me, are trying to correct).

Full paper is here. Comments are much welcome.And because it’s an epic story (and because I suck at writing abstracts), here is an audio trailer. I thank Paul for his beautiful Memphis accent. 












During the 1930s, members of the Econometric Society such as Tinbergen or Fleming, increasingly came to use a slightly transformed version of a pair of words coined by Ragnar Frisch around 1933: “macrodynamics” and “microdynamics.” Yet, it was only in 1990 that Microeconomics and Macroeconomics were established as independent JEL categories.


 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?