Monday, September 19, 2011

Why to do economic history, young scholar

Economic Principals argues that economic historians -- seen as old-fashioned, traditional, on the sidelines -- did much better than economic theorists -- quantitative, authoritative, influential -- when it came to analyzing the economic crisis of 2008 and how to deal with its consequences:
Why does economic history get such short shrift from the profession – in undergraduate and graduate education, in policymaking and public debate? What are the chances that the relationship will shift a little, in the historians’ favor, now that the importance of their craft has been demonstrated by the way it which the argument from history trumped theory?
EP doesn't say that economic history is about as unfashionable in history departments as anywhere else, but I suspect it's true.

Update:  Andrew Smith's blog makes a similar analysis to EP's, apparently quite independently
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