©Deirdre Nansen McCloskey | COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL


Books by Deirdre McCloskey

BOOKS WRITTEN and PUBLISHED

(latest to earliest)
16 sole-authored, 1 co-authored.
[See also Books in Preparation and Projected at the end of this list]
Short books and long pamphlets indented and in small type; [ ] = in press.

[Bourgeois Equality: How Ideas, Not Capital or Institutions, Enriched the World. Vol. 3 of the trilogy "The Bourgeois Era," into production of page proofs, August, 2015, University of Chicago Press, about 800 pp., proofs available for review December 2015, to be published May 3, 2016.]

The book explores the reputational rise of the bourgeoisie, that is, a Bourgeois Revaluation overtaking Holland and then Britain from Shakespeare’s time to Adam Smith. It made the modern world, by giving a reason for ordinary people to innovate. The material changes—empire, trade—were shown in Bourgeois Dignity (2010) to be wholly inadequate to explain the explosion of incomes 1800 to the present. What pushed the world into frenetic innovation were the slowly changing ideas 1600–1848 about the urban middle class and about their material and institutional innovations. A class long scorned by barons and bishops, and regulated into stagnation by its very own guilds and city councils and state-sponsored monopolies, came to be treasured—at least by the standard of earlier, implacable scorn—from 1600 to the present, first in Holland and then in Britain and then the wider world. And when the Amsterdamers after 1600 or so, and the Londoners and Bostonians after 1700 or so, commenced innovating, more people commenced admiring them. The new valuation of the bourgeoisie, a new dignity and liberty for ordinary people was a change peculiar to northwestern Europe in how people applied to economic behavior the seven old words of virtue—prudence, justice, courage, temperance, faith, hope, and love. With more or less good grace the people around the North Sea began to accept the outcome of trade-tested betterment. Then people did so in Europe generally and its offshoots, and finally in our own day in China and India. Most came for the first time to regard creative destruction as just, and were courageous about responding to it, and hopeful in promoting it. Most people, with the exception of the angry clerisy of artists and intellectuals (and even them only after 1848), stopped hating the bourgeoisie as much as their ancestors had for so very long before. Many started loving it. In consequence during a century or two the northwest Europeans became shockingly richer in goods and in spirit. That is, not economics but “humanomics” explains our riches.


Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can't Explain the Modern World. Vol. 2 of 3 of the trilogy "The Bourgeois Era," 2010, University of Chicago Press, 571 + xvi pp., as a trade book [reviewed widely, as for example in Books and Culture, Oct 2010; National Review; New Statesman]. Chinese translation forthcoming, May 2016. Russian translation Novoe Izdatelstvo forthcoming c. 2017. Winner of Business and Economic category at the Sharjah International Book Fair, 2011. جائزة اتصالات لكتاب الطفل تشارك في معرض بوك إكسبو أميركا

What made us modern, and rich, was a change in ideology, or "rhetoric." First in little Holland and then in Britain a new dignity and liberty for the middle class freed innovation. A unique wave of gadgets, and then a tsunami, raised incomes from $3 a day to $30 a day ... more

[co-authored with Stephen Ziliak] The Cult of Statistical Significance: How the Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice, and Lives. 2008, University of Michigan Press. Chps. 14-16 revised appear as "The Unreasonable Ineffectiveness of Fisherian 'Tests' in Biology, and Especially in Medicine." Biological Theory 4(1) 2009: 1-10. Widely reviewed; basis of "Brief for Statistics Experts Professors Deirdre M. McCloskey and Stephen T. Ziliak in Support of Respondent" before the US Supreme Court, Matrixx v Siracusano, Nov 12, 2010, No. 09-1156, oral argument, Jan 10, 2011.

Existence, arbitrary statistical significance, philosophical possibilities uncalibrated to the sizes of important effects in the world are useless for science. Yet in medical science, in population biology, in much of sociology, political sciences, psychology, and economics, in parts of literary study . . . more

The Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Commerce. Vol. 1 of 3 of the trilogy "The Bourgeois Era," 2006, University of Chicago Press, as a trade book, 616 + xviii pp. (reviewed in the Wall Street Journal, July 22, 2006; New York Times Sunday Book Review, July 30; Times Literary Supplement, November; New York Review of Books, Dec. 21). Honorable Mention in Finance and Economics, Professional & Scholarly Publishers Division of the Assn. of American Publishers, 2006. The volume 3 (Vol. 2 is Bourgeois Dignity mentioned above) is also under contract to the Press. Spanish translation Las virtudes burguesas forthcoming (2016?) by Fondo de Cultura Económica (FCE, Fondo), Mexico City. Chinese translation licensed to Zhejiang University Press in 2013, still being translated in 2015, by Liang Zhou, expected publication alleged 2016?. Chapters 8 and 9 are reprinted with minor revisions as "Kärleken och bourgeoisie," pp. 113-154 in Niclas Berggren, ed., Mrknad och moral (Stockholm: Ratio Förlag, 2008).

The story of "The Bourgeois Era" (the three-book series of which this is the first volume) is of the rise of a prudential rhetoric in the Netherlands and England in the 17th century, its triumph in the Scottish Enlightenment and American colonial thought in the 18th... more

The Secret Sins of Economics. Prickly Paradigm Pamphlets (Marshall Sahlins, ed.). University of Chicago Press, 2002, 60 pp. Translated into Persian, 2006. Translated into Japanese, 2009? by Chikuma Shobo, Ltd.? French edition forthcoming 2017, Geneva: Éditions Markus Haller. Available in English online in its entirety.

It's not its abstraction or its mathematics or its statistics or its conservative slant that are the sins of economics. The two real and mortal sins are: (1.) Use of mere existence theorems and (2.) use of mere "statistical significance" (t tests at the 5% level, for example) to draw ... more

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[Edited by Stephen Ziliak, with an introduction by him and a short Preface by McCloskey] Measurement and Meaning in Economics: The Essential Deirdre McCloskey. Brighton: Elgar. Economists of the Twentieth Century Series. 2001.

Selection of the best articles and chapters by McCloskey down to 2001 on historical economics and the rhetoric of economics.

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How to Be Human*   *Though an Economist. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000.

Advice to young economists about maintaining morale and integrity—and getting the scientific task done while retaining one's common sense. See the proposed book of popular essays on the economy to accompany this volume: How to Be an Economist* *Though Human.

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Crossing: A Memoir. University of Chicago Press, 1999. Named December 1999 among the New York Times "Notable Books of 1999." Finalist, Lambda Literary Awards, 1999. Excerpts reprinted in Reason magazine (December 1999) and in Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine (Jan 30, 2000). Excerpt ("Yes, Ma'am") reprinted in Lynn Bloom and Louise Smith, eds., Arlington Reader, 2nd ed., 2008. Excerpts published in J. Ames. ed., Sexual Metamorphosis (New York: Vintage 2005); and in Kessler, ed., Voices of Wisdom, 6th ed. (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson, 2006). Japanese translation, Bungie Shunju Ltd. 2001. Italian translation Transeuropa Libri. License for a Turkish translation, Eflatun Yayinevi publisher, issued February 2010. Published? To be reprinted with a new Preface, 18 years on, forthcoming 2017.

An account of McCloskey's gender change, 1995-1997.

Excerpt, U Chicago Press | Excerpt, Reason | Reviews | Order info

The Vices of Economists; The Virtues of the Bourgeoisie. University of Amsterdam Press and University of Michigan Press, 1997. Dutch translation, 1997, Harry van Dalen; Japanese translation, with new preface for Japanese readers by McCloskey, Tokyo: Chikuma Shobo, Ltd., 2002, reprinted in second 5000 press run, 2009, with a new Preface, "A Liberal Economic Science in a Liberal Society" (1000-word essay). Italian translation, IBL Libri (Istituto Bruno Leoni), 2014.

Existence theorems and statistical "significance" and an ambition for detailed social engineering are characteristic vices of economists.

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Knowledge and Persuasion in Economics. Cambridge University Press, 1994. 446 pp.

Knowledge is persuasion, that is, knowledge is rhetorical. McCloskey marshals technical epistemology to show that the positivist program in economics lacks foundations and should be abandoned. She answers directly many of the conventionally Methodological critics of The Rhetoric of Economics.

Chp. 10: "The rhetoric of mathematical formalism" | Order info

If You're So Smart: The Narrative of Economic Expertise. University of Chicago Press, 1990. Spanish translation Si eres tan listo: La narrativa de los expertos en economía (Madrid: Alianza 1993); trans. Graciela Sylvestre and Victoriano Martin. Chinese translation 2004 (?), Chien Hua Publishing. (Chapter 11 reprinted in Daniel Klein, ed., What Do Economists Contribute?, Macmillan Press 1998 and New York University Press 1999).

Human affairs are deeply unpredictable for one powerful reason: if they were not, trivially easy fortunes could be made. McCloskey here pursues the logic of rational expectations, modern finance, and Austrian economics into its wider cultural implications, showing that storytelling is fundamental to economics, but strictly limited by the principle of . . . more

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British Historical Society

Econometric History. Macmillan U.K., 1987. For the British Economic History Society. Translated into Japanese 1992. (Image: Courtesy British Historical Society.)

The then-"new," "cliometric" history is here surveyed, explained, and defended.

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The Rhetoric of Economics. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1985. Over 50 reviews, as in New York Review of Books, Village Voice, and numerous scholarly journals. British edition: Wheatsheaf 1986. Italian translation: La Retorica dell' Economia: Scienza e letturatura nel discorso economico, with an introduction by Augusto Graziani (Torino: Giulio Einaudi, 1988; trans. Bianca Maria Testa; series Nuovo Politecnico no. 165); Spanish (Alianza, 1990); Japanese (Harvest Sha 1992). Second Revised Edition, 1998. Russian translation, 2015.

Economists are poets/But don't know it. Economic modeling uses metaphors, not as mere ornaments or elucidations but as the meat of the science (just as in physics or history). In her famous book McCloskey illustrates the point with trenchant wit.

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The Writing of Economics. NY: Macmillan, 1986. A 90-page libellus from the article "Economical Writing" below. Second Revised Edition as Economical Writing, Prospect Heights, Ill.: Waveland Press, 1999. Translated into Chinese, China Renmin University Press, 2015. Third revised edition forthcoming 2017.

"Be clear." But how exactly? McCloskey, in a widely used textbook concerning writing in the social sciences, reveals with brevity and wit the secrets of the trade.

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The Applied Theory of Price. Macmillan, 1982; second revised edition, 1985. Available online in its entirety. International student edition 1985; Spanish trans. Teoria de Precios Aplicada (Mexico: CECSA: Compania Editorial Continental, S. A.), 1990. Czech trans. Aplikovaná Teorie Ceny (Praha: Státni pedagogické, 1993). {A new edition from the University of Chicago Press giving economics since 1985 and “humanomics” their due is contemplated, co-authored with Donald Boudreaux.}

Still regarded as one of the classic microeconomic texts of the Chicago School (with books by Friedman [pêre et fils], Stigler, Becker, and Landsburg), it proved to be "too difficult" for undergraduate use, but has been used freely since then to set problems for courses trying to teach the art of economic thinking and to prepare ...more.

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Enterprise and Trade in Victorian Britain: Essays in Historical Economics. Allen and Unwin, 1981; reprinted 1993 by Gregg Revivals (Godstone, Surrey, England); reprinted again 2003 by Routledge (Oxford).

The methods of international and industrial economics are here applied to the British case, the first work of its kind. A pioneering study, twice reprinted.

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Economic Maturity and Entrepreneurial Decline: British Iron and Steel, 1870-1913. Harvard Economic Studies. Harvard University Press, 1973. (David A. Wells Prize 1970.)

The first book in the bringing of "cliometrics" to Britain, and among the first to use the Solow residual (and the price dual) for an industry study, it shows that British businessmen in the iron and steel industry did not "fail" in the late nineteenth century. On the contrary, they continued to lead the world.

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BOOKS EDITED
2 sole editor; 7 co-edited
(in chronological order)

Economic History

Essays on a Mature Economy: Britain after 1840. Methuen, 1971; and Princeton University Press, 1971. Reprinted Routledge, 2006. Order info

[with George Hersh, Jr.] A Bibliography of Historical Economics to 1980. Cambridge University Press, 1990. Order info

[with Roderick Floud] The Economic History of Britain, 1700-Present. 2 vols. Cambridge University Press, 1981. Order info

[with Roderick Floud] The Economic History of Britain, 1700-Present. Second revised edition (3 vols.). Cambridge University Press, 1994. Order info | Reviews | Related

Second Thoughts: Myths and Morals of U.S. Economic History Oxford University Press, 1992. Order info

Rhetoric of Inquiry

[with John Nelson and Allan Megill] The Rhetoric of the Human Sciences: Language and Argument in Scholarship and Public Affairs. University of Wisconsin Press, 1987. Translated into Korean by Korean University Press, 2003. Order info

[with Arjo Klamer and Robert Solow] The Consequences of Economic Rhetoric. Cambridge University Press, 1988. Order info

[with E. Bonet, B. Czarniawska, and H. S. Jensen] Second Conference on Rhetoric and Narratives in Management Research: Management and Persuasion. Barcelona: ESADE, 2011.

Economic Method

[with George DeMartino, who did the great bulk of the work] Handbook on Professional Economic Ethics: Considerations on Professional Economic Ethics: Views from the Economics Profession and Beyond. Oxford University Press, 2015. Individual chapters available electronically from Oxford.


Full length book commentaries

On Bourgeois Dignity (continued from above): What made us modern, and rich, was a change in ideology, or "rhetoric." First in little Holland and then in Britain a new dignity and liberty for the middle class freed innovation. A unique wave of gadgets, and then a tsunami, raised incomes from $3 a day to $30 a day and beyond. In her brilliant, engaging survey of what we thought we knew about the shocking enrichment since 1776, McCloskey shows that the usual materialist explanations don't work—coal, slavery, investment, foreign trade, surplus value, imperialism, division of labor, education, property rights, climate, genetics. Ranging from Adam Smith to the latest theories of economic growth, she details what went wrong with the routine explanations. The most important secular event since the domestication of plants and animals depended on more than routine. It arose from liberties around the North Sea achieved in the civil and anti-imperial wars from 1568 to 1688, and above all from a resulting revaluation of bourgeois life. In recent decades China and then India have revalued their business people, and have thereby given hundreds of millions of people radically fuller lives. The modern world began in northwestern Europe, in the same way: ideas led. Bourgeois Dignity reshapes our thinking about economic history. It will require a reshaping of a good deal of other history as well, turning the story of our times away from the materialism typical of Marxist or economic approaches. It introduces a humanistic science of the economy—"humanomics"—directing attention to meaning without abandoning behavior, using literary sources without ignoring numbers, combining the insights of the human and the mathematical sciences.

On The Cult of Statistical Significance (continued from above): Existence, arbitrary statistical significance, philosophical possibilities uncalibrated to the sizes of important effects in the world are useless for science. Yet in medical science, in population biology, in much of sociology, political sciences, psychology, and economics, in parts of literary study, there reigns the spirit of the Mathematics or Philosophy Departments (appropriate in their own fields of absolutes). The result has been a catastrophe for such sciences, or former sciences. The solution is simple: get back to seeking oomph. It would be foolish, of course, to abandon mathematics or statistics. But they need every time to be put into a context of How Much, as they are in chemistry, in most biology, in history, and in engineering science.

On The Bourgeois Virtues (continued from above): The story of "The Bourgeois Era" (the trilogy of which this is the first volume) is of the rise of a prudential rhetoric in the Netherlands and England in the 17th century, its triumph in the Scottish Enlightenment and American colonial thought in the 18th century, and its decline after 1848 from, as Shaw once called it, the Great Conversion. An ethics of the virtues, as old as Aristotle and as new as feminist ethics, provides a way out of the growing self-hatred of the bourgeoisie. "Bourgeois virtue" is not a contradiction in terms. Economists are recognizing that virtue underlies a market economy; economic historians have long understood so in the lives of Quakers and the vital few. What the social sciences have not recognized since the 18th century and its notion of doux commerce is that a market economy can underlie the virtues. Not all virtues. Some virtues—in fact the ones we celebrate in philosophy and myth—are pagan or Christian, aristocratic and plebian. We need new philosophies and myths, new readings of the ancient virtues, to suit a world in which we are all now bourgeois.

On The Secret Sins of Economics (continued from above): It's not its abstraction or its mathematics or its statistics or its conservative slant that are the sins of economics. The two real and mortal sins are: (1.) Use of mere existence theorems and (2.) use of mere "statistical significance" (t tests at the 5% level, for example) to draw conclusions about the economic world. (1.) is especially prevalent in the highest-prestige journals; (2.) is rampant everywhere. Neither makes any scientific sense—they are literally nonsense—and both have diverted economics from serious scientific work.

On If You're So Smart ... (continued from above): Human affairs are deeply unpredictable for one powerful reason: if they were not, trivially easy fortunes could be made. McCloskey here pursues the logic of rational expectations, modern finance, and Austrian economics into its wider cultural implications, showing that storytelling is fundamental to economics, but strictly limited by the principle of If You're So Smart ... Why Aren't You Rich? The book is the narrative mate to the metaphorical The Rhetoric of Economics. Economists are novelists, as the other book said they are poets. The two logics mutually limit what economics can do by way of social engineering, and recommend a more modest and more humanistic science.

On The Applied Theory of Price (continued from above): Still regarded as one of the classic microeconomic texts of the Chicago School (with books by Friedman [pêre et fils], Stigler, Becker, and Landsburg), it proved to be "too difficult" for undergraduate use, but has been used freely since then to set problems for courses trying to teach the art of economic thinking and to prepare for graduate comprehensive exams. Its difficulty is not the formal mathematical one, as in the standard graduate textbooks, but its insistence that the student actually learn to think like an economist.

BOOKS IN PREPARATION, AND PROJECTED

in descending order of readiness
{...} = full manuscript available now or reasonably soon;
{{...}} = not fully drafted, but outlines or partial MS available
{{{...}}} = projected, at present mere gleams for the long-term, 5-15 years out
    Virtually Complete
    {[with Arjo Klamer and Stephen Ziliak] The Economic Conversation: A First Text}. To be published electronically 2015?
    Website | Preface to Students | Preface to Teachers | A Trialogue | Contents
    Partially Drafted, and Likely to Happen Quite Soon, Deo volente
    {[with Art Carden] Leave Me Alone and I'll Make You Rich: The Bourgeois Deal}, a single-volume and intended-to-be-popular version of the trilogy "The Bourgeois Era." Draft available winter 2015. Seeking a trade publisher.

    {Reading the Economy: Essays in Persuasion}. Drafted, and seeking a trade publisher.
    Projected (But Many's the Slip)
    {[with Donald Boudreaux] Third edition of The Applied Theory of Price}. Updating comments to the old second edition, in progress, bringing the Max-U examples up to date by adding economic ideas since 1985, and showing the force of humanomics, that is, the humanities and ethics in economics.

    {{Linguinomics}}. Language is neglected in economics—for example, in the explanation of the Industrial Revolution. The ideological and conversational shift from 1700 to 1848 is here examined.

    {{[perhaps co-authored with Ross B. Emmett, Michigan State University] God in Mammon: Sermons on a Christian Economics}}. Sample chapters available.

    {{A Little Economic History of the World}}. An economic history for children, on the model of Gombrich's old A Little History of the World.

    {{The Prudent and Faithful Peasant: An Essay in Pre-Modern History}}. Using the essays in section 4 above on medieval open fields as a core, showing the workings of prudence modified by other virtues in olden times. It challenges the claim by Marx and Weber that rationality is peculiarly modern and the claim by materialists that religious motives have no grip on the economy. 350 pages in MS.

    {{{Reading the Economy: An Anthology of Literary Works in English from Chaucer to Maya Angelou}}}, sketched. It will only happen if some publisher wants it urgently. Designed for the bed-table of the bourgeois(e) bleared with trade, and for the growing number of courses in English and Economics nationwide, the anthology selects poetry, short stories, plays, literary essays, and chapters of novels re-presenting the economy: Frost's "Two Tramps at Mudtime," for example, or Gaskell on British industrialization, or Miller's "Death of a Salesman." It teaches economic ways of thinking to literary people and opens the literary world to economists and calculators. 800 pages.

    {{{Economie: A Literary Economics}}}. A brief book, some 150 pages, about the economy in literature and economics in the discourse of literary leftism. It will introduce literary people to a conversation in scientific economics that they stopped attending to in the middle of the 19th century. Topics: "economy" as metaphor in literary studies; the economy as a subject for literary works (e.g. Hard Times; Frost on farming; naturalism, as in Zola and Dreiser); left, right, and middle views on how capitalism functions; what happened in economic history (e.g. trade unions are not responsible for the American standard of living); globalization, postcolonialism, and free-market feminism.

    {{{The Success of British Capitalism}}}. Gathering and extending my work early and late against the persistent but strange assertion that Britain has failed. 350 pages in MS.