I am an assistant professor at the University of Caen, France. I research the history of postwar economics. I was initially interested in how the Great Depression, World War II and the Cold War shaped the intellectual development of Gunnar Myrdal, Jacob Marschak and Milton Friedman. I then studied how economists’ individual visions combine in collective “styles” of doing economics by writing a history of economics at MIT. My current research project (funded by INET) is aimed at understanding the rise of applied economics from the mid-1960s onwards, in particular the transformation of the relationships between theoretical,empirical and policy work in the context of new social demands, computerization, and so forth. I am working on three applied case studies –urban economics, public economics and macro econometric modeling – and one theoretical endeavor – sunspots theory and indeterminacy. To understand the transformation in the structure of economic science, I have also surveyed how economists classify their scientific output through the oft-revised JEL code system.

I’m affiliated with CREM, where I research alongside social choice theorists who debate every local, national or papal election with passion and use three different voting methods to make decisions in hiring committees. This led me to study economists’ interest in collective decision mechanisms (work in progress). I teach in a urban studies department, and I’m therefore experimenting on my students to figure out how to get non-economists interested in the “dismal” science.

I sometimes blog for INET, as well as on my homepage. I post reading suggestions on the history of postwar economics on twitter, and I also rant a bit about the state of French higher-ed, replicability, open-access and other hot potatoes.

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The strange fate of economists' interest in collective decision-making

Article | Aug 9, 2016

How economists turned to the study of collective decision-making after World War II, faced many impossibilities, and lost interest after solving them

How the term “mainstream economics” became mainstream: a speculation

Article | May 23, 2016

From 1958 onward, the back cover of Paul Samuelson’s bestselling textbook, Economics, showed a family-tree of economists. The diagram’s evolution, in particular its use of the term “mainstream economics,” reflected, and, I speculate, influenced how economists came to perceive the structure of their discipline.

The Wesley Clair Mitchell medal : the AEA award that never came to be

Article | Nov 11, 2015

Throughout its first 10 years operation, the John Bates Clark medal was constantly challenged. Many young economists found it biased toward theory, and demanded the establishment of a distinct award for applied work.

Theory vs data, computerization, old wine and new bottles

Article | Oct 24, 2015

In 1953, Oskar Morgenstern proposed to reform the eligibility criterion for fellows of the Econometric Society, in an attempt to foster empirical work.

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