Several days ago, Prateek Raj retweeted a capsule HBR article by Piero Formica, “Why Innovators Should Study the Rise and Fall of the Venetian Empire”. Retweeting it myself, I said “This is bad history. Really, really bad”. Quite fairly, I was challenged to elaborate by University of Liverpool’s Andrew Smith. My response took the form … Continue reading Cool Hand Lagoon: On the Misappropriation of Venetian History
Book Club: Sampling Pseudoerasmus’ “Top 25 Economic History books since 2000”
Some months ago, Pseudoerasmus posted The 25 most stimulating economic history books since 2000 – not a “best” list, exactly, but a list premised on “best” = “makes you think”. My original, absurd hope was to review several of the books in depth. I’m settling instead for possibly-useful capsule descriptions of volumes that led, in … Continue reading Book Club: Sampling Pseudoerasmus’ “Top 25 Economic History books since 2000”
Sanforized* Economics: A Look at Shrink Theory
A week or so ago, Alvaro La Parra-Perez tweeted a link to a Rafael del Pino master conference presentation (think of this as being asked to address bigwigs by Brookings Institute or American Enterprise Institute) by John Joseph Wallis of the University of Maryland. Wallis, an economic historian, entitled his presentation “The Nature of Long-Term … Continue reading Sanforized* Economics: A Look at Shrink Theory
Playing Smallball on Diversity: Dietrich Vollrath on Fractionalization
Dietrich Vollrath, in a Sgt. Joe Friday throwback, has put up something unusual for the day: a quiet, just-the-research-ma’am post exploring the theorized impact of diversity on economic performance. He provides examples of major studies, summarizes the findings, and points out some ways in which those findings, because of research design, might be suspect. In … Continue reading Playing Smallball on Diversity: Dietrich Vollrath on Fractionalization
Two Cheers for Positivism: On the Methodology of Economics
Bruce Caldwell is an economist, historian of economics, Hayek scholar, and Director of the Center for the History of Political Economy (“CHOPE”) at Duke University. I recently came across his 2012 Southern Economic Association presidential address, “Of Positivism and the History of Economic Thought” (VI), in which he links the decline of positivism with the hope … Continue reading Two Cheers for Positivism: On the Methodology of Economics
Defying Gravity: Is There Any Point to Opposing Trade Agreements?
What’s the relevance of archeology to today’s financial and political disputes? Before you answer “None”, take a look at “The V.C.s of B.C.”, a New York Times Magazine report by Adam Davidson, who also does the Planet Money show for NPR. The feature concerns recent archaeological findings, forthcoming in “Ancient Kanesh: a Merchant Colony in … Continue reading Defying Gravity: Is There Any Point to Opposing Trade Agreements?