History

The Institute for New Economic Thinking takes a broad view of economic research and supports it in many ways: through its main grant program, through working groups it organizes, and via conferences, panels, and other smaller gatherings of scholars across the globe.

Institute scholars normally publish their work in journals and books. While many – but far from all – of this work appears in working papers sponsored by the Institute and other leading research forums, the Institute also attempts to make its research results accessible to a wider public on its website. Below is a sampling of interviews featuring Institute scholars explaining the significance of their research in non-technical terms.

A History of the JEL Codes : the Making of the "Microeconomics" and "Macroeconomics" Categories [Part 3]

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.

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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

Adam Smith's first - and last! - book: what rational choice?

Penguin's 250th anniversary editionI was going to call this blog post 'Utility maximising agents in Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments' but realised that was much too dull - even if it accurately describes my bedtime reading at the present moment. The intention with this, and a series of blog posts, will be to share my on-going reading of the theory of moral sentiments, and this first post is about the first chapters on sympathy in particular. Read more

Marcello de Cecco: Two Hundred Years of Politics and High Finance

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The Gold Standard Before World War I
The International Monetary System During and After the First World War
The Great Depression and the International Monetary System
Bretton Woods and After: The Breakup of the Post World War II Monetary Order

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

The man who will not win the Nobel

Last Spring Larry Summers wounded Thomas Piketty in a friendly embrace. In a review of Capital in the Twenty-first century, Summers praised Piketty’s contributions in data mining and analysis and in a flight of enthusiasm he deemed the contributions deserving of a Nobel. Read more

The torch that wouldn't burn - UCLA in 1968

Fred Block: The Tenacity of Free Market Ideology

What is it about free market ideas that give them tenacious staying power in the face of such manifest failures as persistent unemployment, widening inequality, and the severe financial crises that have stressed Western economies over the past 40 years? In this interview with Institute President Rob Johnson, Fred Block discusses his book The Power of Market Fundamentalism, which extends the work of the great political economist Karl Polanyi to explain why these ideas have been revived from disrepute after the Great Depression and World War II to become the dominant economic ideology of our time. Read more

Macro once again, or "it is history, stupid"

                          The blogosphere experiences another burst of historical/methodological discussions about macroeconomics: was new cla ssical macroeconomics of Lucas and Sargent, among others, an empirical or methodological revolution? Read more

HES 2014: It made a happy man very old!

This year, the History of Economics Society (HES) meeting was organized at the University of Quebec at Montreal. The meeting was, on the whole, a nice affair, there were plenty of interesting sessions, I reconvened with old friends and was able to present there my latest work and receive constructive comments. Read more