In Praise of Historical Economics: Bradford DeLong on growth, development and instability

An interview with introduction by Brian Snowdon

Published: March 2002

Professor Bradford DeLong is a leading macroeconomist and economic historian, and is best known for his work on economic growth, business cycles, finance and issues relating to international economic history and globalisation. However, his interests and publications cover a vast range of issues and, above all, his research and publications demonstrate the important insights that contemporary economists can gain from a deep knowledge of history. In this article/interview the author argues that economists, particularly those interested in economic growth, have much to gain by paying more attention to the literature of ‘historical economics’. In the interview that follows, Professor DeLong gives his views on economists and economic history, the industrial revolution, long-run changes in living standards, economic growth, US economic leadership, depressions, inflation and instability, the ‘new economy’, and the twentieth century.

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