The Quantitative Turn in the History of Economics: Promises, Perils and Challenges

Forthcoming in Journal of Economic Methodology (December 2018)

17 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2018

See all articles by Beatrice Cherrier

Beatrice Cherrier

CNRS; National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) - Center for Research in Economics and Statistics (CREST); University of Paris-Saclay - Ecole Polytechnique

Andrej Svorenčík

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics

Date Written: July 19, 2018

Abstract

A quantitative turn in history of economic thought is looming. We argue that engineering it consicously is of crucial importance for historians of economics. We also highlight the limitations of quantitative techniques.Yet, the combination of qualitative and quantitative research could substantially enrich our narratives of the development of economics and its practice, of how ideas and tools disseminate and influence other spheres. A failed quantitative turn could lead our field to a house divided and, in the worst case, a civil war.

Keywords: quantitative history, epistemology, historiography, prosopography, network analysis

Suggested Citation

Cherrier, Beatrice and Svorenčík, Andrej, The Quantitative Turn in the History of Economics: Promises, Perils and Challenges (July 19, 2018). Forthcoming in Journal of Economic Methodology (December 2018) , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3216530

Beatrice Cherrier (Contact Author)

CNRS ( email )

3, rue Michel-Ange
Paris, 75794
France

National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) - Center for Research in Economics and Statistics (CREST) ( email )

15 Boulevard Gabriel Peri
Malakoff Cedex, 1 92245
France

University of Paris-Saclay - Ecole Polytechnique ( email )

55 Avenue de Paris
Versailles, 78000
France

Andrej Svorenčík

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

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