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Whither Economic History? Between Narratives and Quantification

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  • Pamfili Antipa
  • Vincent Bignon

Abstract

Macroeconomic analysis is not just a game of equations; it is a narrative of the real. We argue in this article for a re-evaluation of the importance of narratives. Because each financial crisis is a unique event, the narrative is the natural form of analysis. In addition, the effects of economic policies can no longer be analysed independently of the narratives appropriated by economic agents (Schiller, 2017) and policy makers (Friedman and Schwartz, 1963). There is a twofold value in adding the historical dimension. Economic history is instructive by multiplying case studies, i.e. by increasing the variety of policy successes and failures analysed. History also loosens the shackles of our preconceptions, since comparing the past and present calls into question the exceptional nature of what we are living.

Suggested Citation

  • Pamfili Antipa & Vincent Bignon, 2018. "Whither Economic History? Between Narratives and Quantification," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(3), pages 17-36.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:reofsp:reof_157_0017
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