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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In which MIT decided to teach micro first so as to make economics more relevant

Article | Dec 4, 2013

I’ve already blogged on how undergraduate education evolved at MIT in the postwar era here and here, but since Mike Konczal and Paul Krugman make the case that, to bring introductory economics closer to the real world, macro should be taught before micro as Samuelson did in the first 13 editions of his Economics textbook, it may be worth returning to it.

Economic theory declassified?

Article | Oct 19, 2013

So, most Nobel Prize exegetes went a long way, this week, toward explaining that asset pricing is not primarily born out of theoretical reflection but out of prize-deserving empirical work.

The Political Economy of the Nobel Prize, 45th edition

Article | Oct 12, 2013

This morning, when I woke up a few hours before the Nobel announcement, I felt seriously dissatisfied. I had meant to write a post on Thomson Reuters’s prediction that Card, Angrist and Krueger may win the Nobel for their work on empirical microeconomics.

The rise of economics as engineering II: the case of MIT

Article | Apr 24, 2013

Looming behind the aforementioned narratives of postwar economics is a notion – economics as engineering – which at times appears as a metaphor and at times stands for a straight depiction of economists’ professional milieu and practices.

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