October 16th, 2019
Applied economics as a historical problem
Roger Backhouse – Birmingham University/Erasmus University Rotterdam
For many intellectual historians it is problematic to write the history of an individual
For many intellectual historians it is problematic to write the history of an individual discipline in isolation from wider intellectual developments. It follows that writing a history of “applied economics” is even more problematic. Drawing on projects in which I have been involved, this paper explores different ways in which writing the history of applied economics can be justified, arguing not only that understanding the position of applied economics is central to the history of economics but also that focusing on applied economics addresses some of the doubts that intellectual historians have expressed about writing histories of economic thought.