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Is History of Economics What Historians of Economic Thought Do? A Quantitative Investigation

Maria Cristina Marcuzzo () and Giulia Zacchia ()

History of Economic Ideas, 2016, vol. 24, issue 3, 29-46

Abstract: This paper presents a quantitative investigation into the history of economic thought (HET). Building on previous work (Marcuzzo 2008; 2012), we propose an empirical study with the aim of describing the dynamics of changes in HET in recent years, detecting three trends: 1) a sort of ‘stepping down from the shoulders of giants’, namely a move towards studies of ‘minor’ figures and/or economists from a more recent past; 2) the blossoming of archival research into unpublished work and correspondence; 3) less theory-laden investigations, connecting intellectual circles, linking characters and events. Using data from Econlit we show the evolution of the overall publication of het articles (1955-2013) and of HET fully or partially specialized journals (1993-2013); for the latter, by devising proxies which are amenable to quantitative assessment, we demonstrate that there is some evidence to support these claims.

Date: 2016
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