The Uses of Biography and the History of Economics

A nice paper on history of economic thought by Susan Howson of Univ of Toronto.  The paper mainly covers her approach towards writing bio of Lionel Robbins. However, in the process it shares insights on how biographies help understand history of economics better:

I was asked to speak at this year’s [2012] HETSA meetings because my biography of Lionel Robbins was published late last year. I shall indeed talk about some of my experiences in researching and writing this biography. Since the theme of the conference is the future of the history of economics, I shall also try to illustrate just how useful archival sources can be for historians of economics – not just in writing an economist’s biography but in the study of the history of economics more generally. In the last decade there have become available the personal and professional papers of many other important 20th century economists. These should provide a rich resource for historians of economics interested in the development of economics in the twentieth century for many years to come.

Decent read…

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