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Economists and Their Travels, or the Time When JFK Sent Douglass North on a Mission to Brazil

Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Forthcoming

The Center for the History of Political Economy WP No. 2017-17, 9/2017

64 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2017 Last revised: 7 Jan 2018

Mauro Boianovsky

Universidade de Brasilia

Date Written: September 1, 2017

Abstract

The role of traveling as a source of discovery and development of new ideas has been controversial in the history of economics. Despite their protective attitude toward established theory, economists have traveled widely and gained new insights or asked new questions as a result of their exposure to “other” economic systems, ideas and forms of behavior. That is particularly the case when they travel to new places while their frameworks are in their initial stages or undergoing changes. This essay examines economists’ traveling as a potential source of new hypotheses, from the 18th to the 20th centuries, with a detailed case study of Douglass North’s 1961 travel to Brazil.

Keywords: Travel, Economic Theories, Douglass North, Brazil, Otherness

JEL Classification: B00, B30, B41

Suggested Citation

Boianovsky, Mauro, Economists and Their Travels, or the Time When JFK Sent Douglass North on a Mission to Brazil (September 1, 2017). Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Forthcoming; The Center for the History of Political Economy WP No. 2017-17, 9/2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3046743

Mauro Boianovsky (Contact Author)

Universidade de Brasilia ( email )

Brasilia, DF 70910-900
Brazil

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