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How Cliometrics has Infiltrated Economics – and Helped to Improve the Discipline

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  • Claude Diebolt

    (BETA, University of Strasbourg Strasbourg, France)

  • Michael Haupert

    (University of Wisconsin-La Crosse)

Abstract

Fenoaltea (2019) argues that cliometricians have failed as economists, historians , and economic historians. His argument is based on what he sees as a failure to appreciate the fine art of data gathering and what he perceives to be the lax attitude towards measurement. He embodies these complaints in the history of the creation of national income statistics, and the unforgiveable sin of economic historians who attempt to take those measurements backward in time. He concludes his polemic with his dream, that "cliometricians can take history and the humanities as seriously as we take economics, and lead us to the promised land." (2019: 12) We are unsure of exactly what the "promised land" might be, but argue that any recent issue of Cliometrica, and any article in the Handbook of Cliometrics will provide ample evidence that cliometrics is alive and well, takes both history and economics very seriously, and does so with a careful and critical eye toward context (clio) and measurement (metrics). Herewith we defend the accomplishments and current robust health of cliometrics.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Claude Diebolt & Michael Haupert, 2019. "How Cliometrics has Infiltrated Economics – and Helped to Improve the Discipline," Working Papers 05-19, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC).
  • Handle: RePEc:afc:wpaper:05-19
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Manzel, Kerstin & Baten, Jörg, 2009. "Gender Equality and Inequality in Numeracy: The Case of Latin America and the Caribbean, 1880–1949," Revista de Historia Económica / Journal of Iberian and Latin American Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 27(1), pages 37-73, January.
    2. Sascha O. Becker & Ludger Woessmann, 2009. "Was Weber Wrong? A Human Capital Theory of Protestant Economic History," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 531-596.
    3. Gregory Clark, 2015. "Markets before economic growth: the grain market of medieval England," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 9(3), pages 265-287, september.
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    Cited by:

    1. Johan Fourie, 2019. "Who Writes African Economic History?," Economic History of Developing Regions, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(2), pages 111-131, May.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • B00 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - General - - - History of Economic Thought, Methodology, and Heterodox Approaches
    • N00 - Economic History - - General - - - General
    • N01 - Economic History - - General - - - Development of the Discipline: Historiographical; Sources and Methods

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