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Whither Economic History ?: Between Narratives and Quantification

Pamfili Antipa () and Vincent Bignon ()

No 2018-01, Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers from Sciences Po Departement of Economics

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.

Keywords: Economic history; Cliometrics; Narrative; Economic policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his and nep-hpe
Date: 2018-01
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