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History of Political Economy Annual Supplement to Volume 33 (2001) 3

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The Reader's Essential Non-Guide to The Age of Economic Measurement

Judy L. Klein and Mary S. Morgan

There is no editorial introduction or conclusion to this volume, nor is the book divided into labeled parts, nor is there any distinct chronology through the volume. The essays connect in different ways. We experimented with many orderings, intrigued by the trajectories of connection that each sequence suggested. In the end, we decided that section divisions and labels would constrain the way the reader might approach each essay and imply a narrower focus than we wanted to communicate about how we understood each contribution to this volume.

Instead, we have organized the volume to include several shorter essays that offer particular dimensions within which to think about the history of measurement in economics. These “perspective” pieces—Ted Porter's opening essay and contributions from Roy Weintraub and the two editors—form vantage points in a landscape, points where it is natural to pause and register both the path already traveled and the vistas ahead. Our hope is that the reader will experience these essays as a chance to draw breath and reconsider what is involved, rather than as dividing points that separate the other contributions. Taken together, these shorter perspectives and longer essays form our picture of the age of measurement. The linearity of books forced us to choose an order, one we trust the reader will find both harmonious and intriguing. We hope that you will find the same pleasure in making and tracing the measurement connections that we have experienced in editing this volume.


Judy L. Klein is professor of economics at Mary Baldwin College. She is the author of Statistical Visions in Time: A History of Time Series Analysis, 1662–1938 (Cambridge University Press, 1997). Her research interests include the experience and comprehension of seasonal commercial rhythms and the post–World War II nexus of economics, statistics, and control engineering.

Mary S. Morgan is a professor of history of economics at the London School of Economics and a professor of history and philosophy of economics at the University of Amsterdam. She is an editor of two previous HOPE supplements: one in 1994, Higgling: Transactors and Their Markets in the History of Economics (with Neil De Marchi), and one in 1998, From Interwar Pluralism to Postwar Neoclassicism (with Malcolm Rutherford). Her current research is on the historical and philosophical implications of economics becoming a modeling science.



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