The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd


  • Robert Whaples
Reference work entry


Cliometrics (from Clio, the ancient Greek muse of history) studies history by applying the rigour of economic theory and quantitative analysis while simultaneously using the historical record to evaluate and stimulate economic theory and to improve comprehension of long-run economic processes. It thus allows mainstream economists to study economic history using their familiar methods. Since the 1950s, when cliometrics demonstrated that antebellum slave-owning was profitable, it has grown to become the dominant approach to economic history. It is now addressing traditional economic historians’ topics like non-market behaviour and embracing methods and findings from disciplines beyond economics.


Anthropometric history Cliometrics Computers in research Domesday Book Economic history Fogel, R. Neoclassical theory North, D. Slavery 

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Whaples
    • 1
  1. 1.