A moda da História Econômica

Ótima discussão do Tyler Cowen sobre as razões que fizeram a História Econômica entrar na moda.  Desde Acemoglu, Johnson e Robinson, economistas de departamentos de topo abriram os livros de História atrás de estratégias de identificação bacanas. Gostei muito do comentário do Matthew Kahn:

"Great question. Given that I have published in the Journal of Economic History, have co-authored an economic history book (see Princeton Press 2008 Heroes and Cowards) and I’m married to an economic historian [Leo: ele é marido da grande Dora Costa], I feel like I can deliver a partial answer. Great historical data is”out there” if you know where to dig. This creation of longitudinal micro data sets by using people’s names and geographical data in repeat cross-sections of data has opened many new opportunities for writing “natural experiment” papers. The field of economic history faces at least two challenges. First, at the publication stage, we are now in the “field experiment era” and economic historians have trouble running randomized field experiments! Without such a randomized research design, clever reviewers can always think of some story for why OLS’s assumption of E(U|X) does not equal zero or why IV’s assumption of E(U|Z) does not equal zero. Second, if an economy is “non-stationary” and evolving over time, then past historical relationships between say climate conditions and mortality provide an upper bound on future relationships because they under-estimate adaptation. The Lucas Critique lurks throughout when interpreting lessons for today from past events."
E gostei também dessa resposta de um tal de wiki:

"Economics is driven by technique at the upper ends. Despite the rise in economic history, the Journal of Economic History has unfortunately not risen much in status because what matters to the top guys are historical papers that have elite technical methods. Moreover — without naming names — there are plenty of articles in top 5 journals that are suspect in their historical interpretation (even by econ standards) that are well-specified technically but which would likely have been rejected by JEH. So in the end, it’s about all the things Tyler mentioned, but it’s also how econ only adopts those fields that focus on the technique of the moment. And the lack of RCTs in history as Kahn mentions, restricts how far historians can go unless they engage in the sorts of heroic efforts the current Clark medal winner has undertaken. So these are high risk, low article count career choices."

Concordo que vários papers em journals top seriam rejeitados do Journal of Economic History pelas razões certas: autores marretaram a evidência histórica ou ocultaram fatos que colocariam em risco a estratégia de identificação. E só os especialistas mesmo do assunto identificariam a malandragem. (Claro que também há razões erradas para ser rejeitado pelo JEH)Nos próximos dias,  eu vou escrever  mais sobre a minha bronca com a revolução da credibilidade na Economia.

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