The Review of Austrian Economics

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 347–354 | Cite as

Deirdre McCloskey, Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can’t Explain the Modern World

Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2011. xvi + 571 Pages. USD 38.00 (cloth)
  • Jack High

McCloskey first gained professional recognition as an economic historian, one of that hardy band of Cliometricians who insisted that history be informed by theory and numbers. Her dissertation on the iron and steel industry of Great Britain won the David A. Wells prize for best dissertation at Harvard in 1973. She next attracted attention for her defense of Chicago School economics, a static, partial-equilibrium approach to price theory, justified by logical positivism (predictions matter, assumptions don’t) and dedicated to the proposition that perfect competition is, well, perfect, both as an analytical tool and as a welfare ideal. McCloskey achieved further renown by preaching the advantages of writing well and she has always practiced what she preached. Throughout her career, she has been one of the economics profession’s best stylists. In the 1980s, she revolted against the strictures of positivism in favor of a rhetorical approach, arguing that economics is not simply...


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Public PolicyGeorge Mason UniversityArlingtonUSA

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