Economists such as Alvin Roth and Esther Duflo have recently argued that economics in the late twentieth century has evolved from (social) science to engineering. On the other hand, historians such as Mary Morgan and Michel Armatte have argued that the transformation of economics into an engineering science has been a century-long development. Turning away from the “economics as engineering” analogy, our introduction suggests an alternative approach to account for the presumed transformation of economics into an engineering science. We encourage the development of a history of “economics and engineering,” which depicts how these two types of knowledge—and the communities who produce them—have interacted in various institutional and national contexts. Drawing on the contributions to this 2020 annual supplement of HOPE, we show how these narratives may help change the historiography of twentieth-century economics.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.