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Economic History or History of Economics? Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius : Review Essay

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  • Orley Ashenfelter

Abstract

In this essay, I review Sylvia Nasar's long awaited new history of economics, Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius . I describe how the book is an economic history of the period 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: The Lives, Times, and Ideas of the Great Economic Thinkers . I also discuss more generally the question of why economists might be interested in their history at all. (JEL B10, B20, B30, N00)

Suggested Citation

  • Orley Ashenfelter, 2012. "Economic History or History of Economics? Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius : Review Essay," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(1), pages 96-102, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:50:y:2012:i:1:p:96-102
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jel.50.1.96
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    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Why Nations Fail predavanje, zašto je Keynes relevantan i još neka čitanja
      by cronomy in Cronomy on 2012-04-12 08:52:29
    2. Why Nations Fail predavanje, zašto je Keynes relevantan i još neka čitanja
      by cronomy in Cronomy on 2012-04-12 08:52:29

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • B10 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - General
    • B20 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - General
    • B30 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - General
    • N00 - Economic History - - General - - - General

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