Prados de la Escosura, L. (2019), “‘Pace’ Baudelaire? Comment on ‘Spleen: The Failures of the Cliometric School’, by Stefano Fenoaltea”, Annals of the Fondazione Luigi Einaudi, 53(2): 25-30.
Has Cliometrics failed? In response to Stefano Fenoaltea’s melancholic assessment of the failures of the Cliometric School, this short comment notices the practical absence of cliometricians in the renaissance of historical work by economists (the historical legacy approach) and the reorientation of historians, long disconnected from Cliometrics, towards ‘history of economic life’ and ‘history of capitalism’. It also points out that economic historians’ research agenda is now designed from the outside of the field and that the “integration” into economics marshalled by a new generation of economic historians posed serious challenges. There seems to be, nonetheless, some hope for historical economics by addressing relevant economic, social, and political issues from a historical perspective and on the basis of carefully assembled datasets. The experience of economic history outside the US may suggest the way out.