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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Is There a Quantitative Turn in the History of Economics (and how not to screw it up)?

Article | Jun 23, 2015

The (very) recent rise of quantitative analysis in history of economics working papers calls for a closer examination of the prospects and limitations of this approach, and of the impediment to its large-scale development.

Why journal editors should commission history papers for their anniversary issues

Article | Apr 23, 2015

Writing the history of economic journals is not merely a way to reconstruct the development of new fields and new approaches to economics. It also recasts current debates on peer-review, retractions, open-access, replicability, and bias in scientific publishing in a wider perspective. It answers important questions on the influence of editors, publishers and referees on the development or marginalization of various economic approaches. But such endeavour requires the preservation of journals’ archives, the recognition of historical expertise, and economists’ adoption of a more relaxed and humble approach to their history.

Introductory Economics for the Real World: Lessons from Teaching with "The Wire" TV Show

Article | Apr 7, 2015

Two days before my Freshmen took their first economics class this March, they gave an interview to the local newspaper. They enjoyed the program, they declared, but they nonetheless didn’t understand what was the point of “some” of the courses they had to take.

History of Policy Evaluation: A Few Questions

Article | Feb 4, 2015

I need a history of policy evaluation.

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