by Jon Guze
Senior Fellow, Legal Studies, John Locke Foundation
The Center for the History of Political Economy at Duke University, which was established in 2008 with a grant by the John W. Pope Foundation to “promote and support research in, and the teaching of, the history of economics,” has won a $5 million grant from the Charles Koch Foundation. From the announcement:
Since opening its doors 10 years ago, Duke University’s Center for the History of Political Economy has built an international reputation as a hub for the study of the history of economics.
Now, with the help of a new $5 million grant from the Charles Koch Foundation, the center hopes to expand upon that work by adding faculty, continuing its commitment to visiting students and scholars, and partnering with Duke’s Rubenstein Library to hire a digital librarian.
Duke’s ties to the field of the history of economic thought go back decades, thanks to the work of professors Craufurd Goodwin, E. Roy Weintraub, Neil De Marchi and, more recently, Kevin Hoover, said center director Bruce Caldwell.
In 1969, the journal History of Political Economy was established at Duke, eventually becoming a leading journal in the field.
Professors Goodwin, Weintraub and De Marchi have since retired, Caldwell said. The new grant will enable the center to recruit new faculty members to help fill that gap.
“Duke has long been strong in the history of economics,” Caldwell said. “We’re excited to build on the strength that already exists here and take it to the next level.”
The center has an active fellowship and workshop program, an annual summer institute, a lecture series and other programming, said Caldwell, a research professor of economics at Duke who has written extensively about economist and Nobel Laureate F. A. Hayek.
The center also partners with Rubenstein Library in managing the Economists’ Papers Archive, which includes the papers of such Nobel Prize-winning economists as Paul Samuelson, Douglass North and Vernon Smith.
“We’re excited to support Duke’s faculty as they continue to build on years of innovative work in the field of economic history,” said Charles Koch Foundation Vice President Ryan Stowers. “The center’s study allows others to learn from and build on the lesson of the past — the way different economic theories have played out in different societies.”