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Maas, Harro

Maas, Harro

Harro Maas, born in Utrecht, the Netherlands, in 1958. Ph.D. from University of Amsterdam. Associate Professor of History of Economics at Utrecht University.

Fellow (1 February 2014 – 30 June 2014)


Research Question

What is the role of experiential knowledge in the modeling exercises of post-war economists?

Project Description

Around WW-II economics as a discipline experienced major shifts in its assessment of rigor and relevance of evidence and research methods that is commonly associated with the econometric revolution and the involvement of US economists in the war effort. This shift did not mean that other sources of evidence were dispelled from the actual research practices of economists. I am particularly interested in the role of experiential knowledge, in many cases indirectly gathered from corresponding networks, in the modeling exercises of post-war economists. During my time at NIAS I will zoom in on the work of high profile MIT-economist Paul Samuelson.

Selected Publications

1) “Making Things Technical: Paul Samuelson at MIT,” (forthcoming in History of Political Economy, Vol. 46.5).

2) “The Photographic Lens: Graphs and the Changing Practices of Victorian Economists,” in Martin Hewitt (ed) The Victorian World (Routledge, 2012), pp. 500-518

3)“Sorting Things Out: The Economist as an Armchair Observer,” in Lorraine Daston and Elisabeth Lunbeck (eds) Histories of Scientific Observation, (University of Chicago Press, 2011), pp. 206-229.

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