How Useful is Anthropometric History? Some Reflections on Paul Hohenberg’s Recent Presidential Address to the American Economic History Association

8 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2010 Last revised: 30 Jul 2010

See all articles by John Komlos

John Komlos

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: July 28, 2010

Abstract

In his recent presidential address to the American Economic History Association, Paul Hohenberg argued that anthropometric history does not meet his criteria for useful research in the field of economic history. He considers research useful if (a) it “helps shape one of our underlying disciplines”; b) it contributes “to clear – even fresh – thinking about current, policy-related issues or on-going scholarly debates about the historical past"; and c) it “penetrates the fuzzy realm of identity-shaping popular discourse”. I argue briefly that only a superficial reading of the literature would lead to the conclusion that anthropometric history has not been useful.

Keywords: Anthropometric history

JEL Classification: N10

Suggested Citation

Komlos, John, How Useful is Anthropometric History? Some Reflections on Paul Hohenberg’s Recent Presidential Address to the American Economic History Association (July 28, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1650301 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1650301

John Komlos (Contact Author)

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Ludwigstrasse 28
Munich, D-80539
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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