DP15795 Merger or acquisition? An introduction to the Handbook of Historical economics

Author(s): Alberto Bisin, Giovanni Federico
Publication Date: February 2021
Keyword(s): Cliometrics, economic history, persistence studies
JEL(s): B40, N00
Programme Areas: Economic History
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=15795

The relationship between history and economics as academic disciplines is methodologically subtle and sociologically contested. If the Cliometric revolution can be characterized as an acquisition of economics by history, the most recent trends in Historical Economics appear to turn this relationship on its head. In this Introduction we read the chapters of the Handbook as a forceful argument in favor of a merger between the two disciplines rather than the acquisition of one by the other; a merger which combines, notably, the detailed knowledge of historical sources, the capability of distilling complex historical processes into a model, and the statistical/econometric skills for identification and estimation.