My dissertation was a inquiry into the consistency of economists’ science and politics, carried through a comparative analysis of the life and work of Gunnar Myrdal (paper), Milton Friedman (published paper // final draft) and Jacob Marschak (published paper // ungated ).
My current project (funded by INET and the CHOPE ) deals with the transformation of economics from the 1960s onward. I’m particularly interested in the rise of applied economics in these decades. Roger Backhouse and I have coordinated a History of Political Economy special issue on the topic (here is our introductory chapter). To understand this transformation, we have researched how the rise of computers altered economists’ practices. I also researched the history of the JEL codes to document how the mental map with which economists navigate their discipline came to embody the core/applied structure of economics.
I also seek to compare the dynamics of various applied fields. My case studies include the rise (and fall?) of urban economics in the wake of the 1960s urban upheaval (with Anthony Rebours), the transformation of Musgrave’s public finance into modern public economics, how collective decision became a fringe topic in economics (pub // draft, joint with Jean-Baptiste Fleury), and the history of macroeconomic theory (paper with Aurélien Saïdi) and macroeconometric modeling (draft with Roger Backhouse, draft with Juan Acosta). With Andrej Svorenčík, I’ve also tracked changes in the postwar intellectual and prestige structure of economics through the history of the John Bates Clark medal.
Economists’ applied identity is often embedded in specific places. I have thus examined the development of economics at MIT (paper // draft), the relationships between economics, engineering at the University of Stanford (with Aurélien Saïdi, draft available upon request). I’m now working on the various species of applied economics developed at the University of Minnesota in the 1970s and 1980s. I’m also studying the effects of the rise of applied economics on the status and representation of women in economics : with John Singleton and Cleo Chassonery-Zaïgouche, I’m working on a history of the CSWEP.
Contact: beatrice.cherrier (at) gmail.com