Economics at the EHESS (1947-1980):
Based on an extensive consultation of institutional (Rockefeller Foundation, EHESS, Ministry of Higher Education,…) and private (Fernand Braudel, Charles Morazé,…) archives, this project explored the transformations of the disciplinary identity of economics at the Sixth Section of the EPHE (renamed EHESS in 1975) in France. I focused on two issues: how economists’ dialogue with other social sciences influences the disciplinary identity of economics and how funding shaped economic research. I demonstrated that the Sixth Section was created for support an empirical economic research in connection with other sciences after the Second World War. Because they failed in providing their expertise to the economic administration, these realistic economists were disregarded within the institution to the point that economics was in existential danger in the early 1970s. From the 1970s onwards, the recruitment of mathematical economists trained in North America provide a new breath to the strengthening of economics while distancing economists from others social scientists.
Mapping French Economics (granted by ISRF):
The project intends to study the structural determinants of the intellectual divide that has grown in the field of Economics in France over the last 50 years. Based on both a quantitative and a qualitative component, the project examines the institutional determinants and structural conditions paving the way for the dominance of orthodox Economics in French policy-making.
The qualitative stream of the project will involve running semi-structured interviews with prominent French economists who have participated in the transformation of the economic discipline at the academic level through their research or their institutional commitment. Most of the interviewed economist were once affiliated with institutions advising the French Government confirming recent works in history of economic thought which indicate the influence of French administration in defining the identity of the French economic discipline.