In the last issue of the Journal of the History of Economic Thought in a symposium on the Future of HET, Ivan Moscati writes that
By using Google, I then found that thirty-eight of [Young] scholars are now working as lecturers, assistant professors or associate professors. More exactly, sixteen entered academia in Europe (ﬁve in France; four in Italy; two in the UK; one each in Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Portugal [my emphasis], and Spain); fourteen got into academia in the United States, and eight in other countries …
Few might quote my papers but my existence is noted. In fact, I am entitled to a row in the “table of youth.” I there discover that I am in “Economics,” which is formally true but speaks nothing of what I am doing or where I will end up. Moscati’s sociology of affiliation serves the argument that in the strained duality economics vs history/science studies, economics wins by a head count.
None of the papers at the symposium read the question historiographically. (Palma gets close, but he is so excited by the marketing pitch that he misses the forest for the trees.) The future of the history of economics is surely the future of writing history. Why then did no one ask, with the courage and curiosity of youth, what questions remain unexamined in economics’ past? I would offer at least two: the communication of economic ideas and economics as cognitive science.
Among the youth, we seem to have plenty of philosopher kings and vice-presidents for marketing, but do we have serious historians?