Development and Underdevelopment in the History of Economic Thought

European Economics and the Early Years of the ISoM

matthieu renault, GREDEG CNRS

The International Seminar on Macroeconomics (ISoM) is an annual conference, which was co-sponsored, during 15 years (1978-1993) by the French EHESS and the NBER. This article uncovers the scientific and institutional dynamics unrolling from this cooperation. The ISoM, we argue, constituted a decisive step towards the making of a European network of economists, sharing a distinctive style of economics, insofar that the Seminar gathered macroeconomists who were leading the development of this European network. We illustrate how the ISoM stands at the crossroad of two types of ‘internationalisation’ of economics: on the one hand, the integration of European national communities; on the other hand, the process of ‘Americanisation’ of economics. While existing literature on ‘internationalisation’ focuses on the national level, our contribution investigates its European level. Moreover, we unveils the key role played in this process by macroeconomics—and more specifically, large-scale macroeconometric modelling on the one hand, and the disequilibrium theory on the other hand. These two approaches provided a common research agenda and shared scientific standards for the emerging network.

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Keywords: History of macroeconomics; NBER; International Seminar on Macroeconomics; EHESS; Disequilibrium theory

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