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Abstract (Lang: English):
For historians, common sense suggests an economy is the sum total of exchanges carried out by myriad actors in a certain place and time, together with their intersection with business and government institutions. For theoretical economists, an economy looks more like a thought experiment, an imaginary artifact, the behaviors, tendencies, and moods of which can be mapped, explained, and (with luck) predicted. Both answers are true, but the profound differences between them have joined historians and economists in a contentious tradition of misperceiving their respective enterprises.