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How Should We Write the History of Twentieth-Century Economics?

E Roy Weintraub

Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 1999, vol. 15, issue 4, 139-52

Abstract: The modern economist looks at a textbook history of nineteenth-century economics and wonders what, for the twentieth century, will correspond to the chapter titles of "Malthus", "Ricardo", "The Mills", "Marx", and "The Rise of Marginalism". Will monetarism survive editing? Will game theory rate its own section? Will Keynes be a hero or a goat? Economists look to the historian and wonders how the historian decides what is important, and how we go about deciding what will go into a future history book. Eschewing narratives of progress, this paper surveys alternative historiographies for constructing a history of twentieth-century economics, and suggests that the new discipline of science and technology studies provides a number of useful frameworks for telling the story. Copyright 1999 by Oxford University Press.

Date: 1999
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