Economic History or History of Economics? A Review Essay on Sylvia Nasar's Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius
AbstractIn this essay I review Sylvia Nasar's long awaited new history of economics, Grand Pursuit. I describe how the book is an economic history of the period from 1850-1950, with distinguished economists' stories inserted in appropriate places. Nasar's goal is to show how economists work, but also to show that they are people too – with more than enough warts and foibles to show they are human! I contrast the general view of the role of economics in Grand Pursuit with Robert Heilbroner's remarkably different conception in The Worldly Philosophers. I also discuss more generally the question of why economists might be interested in their history at all.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6213.
Length: 15 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Economic Literature, 2012, 50 (1), 96 - 102
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Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
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Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Other versions of this item:
- Orley Ashenfelter, 2012. "Economic History or History of Economics? A Review Essay on Sylvia Nasar’s Grand Pursuit: the Story of Economic Genius," Working Papers 1367, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
- Orley Ashenfelter, 2012. "Economic History or History of Economics? A Review Essay on Sylvia Nasar’s Grand Pursuit: the Story of Economic Genius," Working Papers 1365, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
- Orley C. Ashenfelter, 2011. "Economic History or History of Economics? A Review Essay on Sylvia Nasar’s Grand Pursuit: the Story of Economic Genius," NBER Working Papers 17607, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- B10 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - General
- B30 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-01-10 (All new papers)
- NEP-EVO-2012-01-10 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-HIS-2012-01-10 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-HPE-2012-01-10 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-PKE-2012-01-10 (Post Keynesian Economics)
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