History of Economic Thought

Paul Samuelson and the History of Economics

    Paul Samuelson is well-known to have been a compulsive citer and for having a particular Whig program for the history of economics. Until late in his career he kept writing on "old economists" like Cassel, Böhm-Bawerk, and Ricardo, for example (for instance, see his co-authored article on Ricardo published in HOPE in 2006) . Read more

ASSA Meetings: a Showcase for the History of Economics?

    Economists and historians of economics have related differently over time, and the past of the discipline has then served for varied purposes. The matter compounds when we take into account that it has been and it currently is the case that most historians of economics are in economics departments. Besides sharing the same institutional space, they also share one important event: the annual meeting of the Allied Social Science Associations (ASSA). Read more

Roger Guesnerie – The Next Economic Frontier and the Wild World of Non-Rational Expectations

 

One of the fundamental ideas of modern economics – that people have rational expectations, an unbiased, statistically correct view of the future – is, in reality, a simple hypothesis. And despite its prominence in recent economic thought, this hypothesis and the economic models that rely on it have been the subject of serious debate since the advent of the Great Recession. Read more

Jurassic Economics at ASSA-AEA 2013

  The History of Economics Society (HES) held four sessions at the Allied Social Science Associations (ASSA) 2013 meeting, in San Diego, Jan. 4-6: “Keynes and the International Monetary System” (co-organized by Robert Dimand and Rebeca Gomez Betancourt), “Writing MIT’s History” (organized by E. Roy Weintraub and having our blog fellow Yann Giraud presenting), “Looking for Best Practices in Economic Journalism: Past and Present” (organized by our blog fellow Tiago Mata), and “Real Business Cycle after Three Decades: Past, Present and Future” (a panel discussion co-organized by Warren L. Young and Sumru Altug).

  I will here focus only on the latter. Participants included Nobel Prize Laureates and central figures of the Real Business Cycle (RBC) macroeconomics Read more

The use of economists' biography, IV.

Excerpts from a draft introduction of Till Düppe's and Roy Weintraub's new book, under revision for Princeton University Press, presently carrying the working title "Finding Equilibrium: Arrow, Debreu, McKenzie and the Transformation of Economic Theory

 

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The use of economists' biography, III.

 

“The aim would not be to unravel a hidden coherent structure of the philosophical, theoretical, political dimensions of his work, but to give a sense of the contingencies that his work was subject to – both in terms of its origins and its receptions. Don’t make up an Arrow that he himself was not aware of.”

Till to me, email conversation on Kenneth Arrow, summer 2012

 

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The use of economists' biography, II.

Excerpts from "Retrospect and Prospect," the concluding remarks Bob Coats presented at (or maybe wrote after) the History of Economics conference held in 1972 at Bellagio to commemorate and reassess the 1870s "marginal revolution" (full proceedings here).  

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A Quick One (Message to Naomi)

Naomi KleinYesterday, I had my first introductory economics seminar with my new students. At the end of this 4-hour marathon, which included the definition of economics and some preliminary knowledge on methodology, economic history and the history of the discipline, one of my students, who, I had noticed, stared at me quite incredulously during my speech, approached me and asked me in an aside: "Mr. Giraud, have you read the Shock Doctrine?". Read more

Keynes's 10 Professors... and a Major

I  thought I was on to an inside reference when re-reading the General Theory when Keynes calls Marx, Edgeworth and others simply by name, but refers to "Professor Pigou" in several instances.  What devilish bit of British humour was I missing out on, had Pigou slighted Keynes in some talk and therefore the emphasis on his position as professor as Keynes disagree with him?   Read more