Economic History and the Austrians: The Relevance of Robert Fogel and the New Economic History

Bob Higgs provides a nice tribute to economic historian Robert Fogel, a leading economic historian and cliometrician.

In 1995 Higgs’s “Austrian Economics and the New Economic History” in Austrian Economics Newsletter vol. 15, no.1, (available here pages 2 and 3) offered a well thought out assessment of what cliometrics might offer “of value to the Austrian economist.” After stating, “At first glance one might well answer no”, he argues, “Upon closer inspection, one may revise this assessment. Austrain economists do sometimes write economic history… .”  Thus, “Austrians engaged in historical interpretation can sometimes benefit from some cliometric work.”

It is two pages well worth keeping accessible for any Austrian researcher “practicing their own disticntive style of interpretative economic history.”

It was advice I tried to keep in mind for my own research and teaching.

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