Working Paper BETA #2019-30

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Title : Measuring Success: Clio and the Value of Database Creation

Author(s) : Claude DIEBOLT, Michael J. HAUPERT

Abstract : In a recent article Stefano Fenoaltea (2018) bemoaned the loss of respect and focus on the importance of creating databases, or “measurement” as he referred to it. Cliometrics has made and continues to make valuable contributions not just to the field of economic history, but economics in general. In particular, we focus on the contribution of cliometrics to the creation of datasets. We highlight several important cases in both the past and present, of recognized important contributions of new datasets to the economics discipline. We argue that Clio has continually focused on, and valued, the creation of new data sets and the clever and novel ways they have been exploited to further the frontiers of knowledge, and that these efforts are both appreciated and recognized.

Key-words : Cliometrics, Databases, Economic history, Measurement.

JEL Classification : A10, A12, B41, C81, C82, N00, N01