History of Economic Thought

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.

History of Postwar Economics: suggested readings (in progress)

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). Read more

Yes indeed, we can blog it!

Last year I pointed out here (and here) that macroeconomists were making themselves comfortable in the blogosphere to discuss theoretical, methodological, and, why not, historical issues of their field (see also a nice post by our fellow kid, Beatrice). Read more

Bernard Maris (1946-2015), Charlie Hebdo and Incommensurability

As you may remember, I had decided to cease contributing to this blog a few months ago.  Nevertheless, I thought I could use my completely illegitimate administrator rights to post one last piece dealing with the recent events in France. To be clear, what I am going to say is not very deep. The events are too recent and painful. They left me speechless for a couple of days and there's nothing really bright that can be said on such a dramatic occasion. Read more

By the Way, Why Does the History of the JEL Codes Matter ?

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. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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They called it a sunspot

Coauthored with Aurélien Saidi.

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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