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Economics and Engineering: Institutions, Practices and Cultures

Paper Session

Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Hilton Atlanta, 405
Hosted By: History of Economics Society
  • Chair: Pedro Garcia Duarte, University of São Paulo

Engineering, Management Science, and American Economics, 1900 – 1940

Thomas Stapleford
University of Notre Dame


“Engineering, Management Science, and American Economics, 1900 – 1940” explores the intersections of engineering, business management, and economics in the United States during the early decades of the twentieth century. It tells the story of how engineers became drawn into both management and economics, supporting the early forays of economists into modeling and statistics while using their skills in quantitative analysis to rationalize managerial decisions about production and organization.

Engineering and Economics at Stanford, 1950-1990

Beatrice Cherrier
University of Cergy-Pontoise and CNRS
Aurélien Saïdi
Paris Nanterre University and ESCP Europe


“Engineering and Economics at Stanford, 1950-1990” will study the institutional, intellectual and metaphorical relationship between economics and engineers at Stanford in the postwar period, using prosopographic and qualitative analyses and focusing on key characters such as Kenneth Arrow or George Dantzig, as well as lesser-known, although equally influential ones, such as Bonnar Brown, Albert Bowker or Gerald Lieberman.

German Fears in Economic Engineering: An Affective Criticism

Till Duppe
University of Québec-Montréal


“German Fears in Economic Engineering: An Affective Criticism” will study Wilhelm Krelle’s 1958 cooperation with engineer Paul Weber in the construction of a simulator of the economic circular flow. In contrast to the traditional opposition between economic engineering and the normative sphere, Duppe shows that the moral attitude and professional self-understanding that is typical of an engineering approach to economics matches surprisingly well with the Prussian values of militarism, nationalism, and Christian faith.
Alvin Roth
Stanford University and Harvard University
JEL Classifications
  • B2 - History of Economic Thought since 1925
  • B1 - History of Economic Thought through 1925