Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

How much could economics gain from history: the contribution of cliometrics


Author Info

  • Jean-Luc Demeulemeester

    (DULBEA, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Bruxelles, Belgium & SKOPE, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK)

  • Claude Diebolt

    (BETA/CNRS, Faculty of Economics, Université Louis Pasteur de Strasbourg, France & Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany)


Is cliometrics a discipline that could help economists to close the gap between theory and empirical analysis? For many authors, and certainly many of its protagonists, cliometrics appears to be first of all a new branch of history, using economic theories, tools and techniques to provide answers mainly to historiographical debates and not so much to economic debates per se. Could nevertheless this discipline help economists to come closer to physics by enabling them to discover true laws in economics? More modestly some recent work in cliometrics performed by economists (stricto sensu) reveals the possibility of cliometrics to be an auxiliary discipline of economics (and not solely of history). As such, it should form part of the basic toolkit of all properly educated economists. In this paper we give a survey on the key methodological issue of existence (and type) of laws in economics and the proper role that could be assigned to cliometrics to best serve the development of economics in this perspective.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL:
Download Restriction: no

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC) in its journal Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History.

Volume (Year): 1 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 7-17

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:afc:cliome:v:1:y:2007:i:1:p:7-17

Contact details of provider:
Web page:
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Economic law; Economic history; Cliometrics; Methodology;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:


No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.


Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Jean-Luc Demeulemeester & Claude Diebolt, 2011. "Education and Growth: What Links for Which Policy?," Historical Social Research (Section 'Cliometrics'), Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 36(4), pages 323-346.
  2. Marongiu, Federico, 2008. "La necesidad de teorías heterodoxas para el acercamiento entre historia y economía
    [The need of Heterodox theories for a marriage between history and economics]
    ," MPRA Paper 8746, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Kyrtsou, Catherine & Vorlow, Costas, 2009. "Modelling non-linear comovements between time series," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 200-211, March.
  4. Charlotte Le Chapelain, 2013. "Cliométrie et Capital humain," Working Papers 01-13, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC).
  5. Antoine Parent, 2012. "A critical note on "This time is different"," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 6(2), pages 211-219, May.
  6. Dieter Bögenhold, 2008. "Economics, Sociology, History: Notes on Their Loss of Unity, Their Need for Re-integration and the Current Relevance of the Controversy between Carl Menger and Gustav Schmoller," Forum for Social Economics, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 85-101, August.


This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


Access and download statistics


When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:afc:cliome:v:1:y:2007:i:1:p:7-17. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Karine Pellier).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.