Economic Theory and Economic History

  • Robert P. Gilles
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Economic History book series (PEHS)


This chapter argues that the dismal science is in a dismal state. The problem is caused by the existence of very difficult methodologies, complicating the relationship between economic theorising and empirics. As part of a possible remedy, the author discusses how economic theorising could relate more productively to (economic) history. While analytic narratives can be used to explain the particular economic aspects of a historical episode, history can also provide insights about human economic endeavours that help formulate better general theories.

JEL Classification

B41 D85 L14 N01 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert P. Gilles
    • 1
  1. 1.Queen’s University BelfastBelfastUK

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