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 really 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 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17607.
Date of creation: Nov 2011
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Publication status: published as “Economic history or history of economics?” Review of Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius, Center for Economic Policy Studies, Working Papers: 1365. Journal of Economic Literature, March 2012, 50(1), 96-102.
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- 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..
- Ashenfelter, Orley, 2011. "Economic History or History of Economics? A Review Essay on Sylvia Nasar's Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius," IZA Discussion Papers 6213, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- 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..
- A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
- B20 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-11-28 (All new papers)
- NEP-EVO-2011-11-28 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-HIS-2011-11-28 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-HPE-2011-11-28 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
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