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Chasing the B: A Bibliographic Account of Economics’ Relation to its Past, 1991-2011

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  • Yann Giraud

    () (Université de Cergy-Pontoise, THEMA)

  • Pedro Garcia Duarte

    () (University of sao Paulo, Economics Department)

Abstract

Some historians argue that the history of economic thought (HET) is useful and important to economists and that historians should remain in economics departments. Others believe that historians’ initiatives toward economists are doomed in advance to failure and that they should instead ally themselves with historians and sociologists of science located in humanities departments. Generally, the contributions that are devoted to reviewing the state of HET take a firm side for either one of these two positions and therefore have a prescriptive view on how history should be written. By contrast, our paper proposes a descriptive account of the kind of contributions to HET that have been published in major economics journals over the past two decades. To avoid definitional issues over HET, we use the B category of the JEL classification to retrieve and analyze the relevant literature. We show that, though contributions to HET are still found in top economics journals, the rate of publication of such papers has become increasingly uneven and the methods and narrative styles they adopt are increasingly remote from that advocated in the sub-disciplinary literature. For this reason, historians who are still willing to address the economics’ community should be more interested in expanding the frontiers of their field rather than in trying to anticipate their targeted readers’ preferences.

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  • Yann Giraud & Pedro Garcia Duarte, 2014. "Chasing the B: A Bibliographic Account of Economics’ Relation to its Past, 1991-2011," THEMA Working Papers 2014-09, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  • Handle: RePEc:ema:worpap:2014-09
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    Cited by:

    1. Zacchia, Giulia, 2016. "Segregation or homologation? Gender differences in recent Italian economic thought," MPRA Paper 72279, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    history of economics; economics journals; American Economic Review; Journal of Economic Literature; Journal of Economic Perspectives; Economic Journal;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • B20 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - General
    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • B40 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - General
    • B29 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Other

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