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date: 15 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article on economic history explores a scholarly corpus whose robust empiricism stands out from the general antipositivist trends in the historical field and thus contributes a healthy element of disciplinary pluralism. The field originally rested on two pillars, neoclassical economic theory and cliometrics—that is, the use of quantitative methods, models from applied economics, and counterfactuals to test falsifiable hypotheses. But, inspired by the work of scholars such as the Nobel laureate Douglass North, recent practitioners have added a “new institutionalism” that aims to incorporate an increased sensibility towards cultural norms.

Keywords: empiricism, antipositivism, economic theory, cliometrics, institutionalism

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