HES 2009 by the numbers

I took the participant list of the last History of Economics Society (HES) meetings, and classed the participants by nation of affiliation, i.e. nation of home institution. (In the few instances of scholars with two homes, I took as reference the institution of their email account. The “Other” category collapses all countries with only one participant: South Africa, Australia, South Korea, India, Mexico, Denmark and Belgium.) The population was 155.


This exercise says little if one has no term of comparison and I have to look in my files to see if I have lists of participants for earlier HES meetings, or ESHET. What is striking is that North America accounts for less than 50% of participants, with a few institutions heavily represented. France was the second largest at the Denver meetings. 63 Europeans nearly matched the 64 participants from the USA. Is HES still American?


3 thoughts on “HES 2009 by the numbers

  1. Tiago asks, “Is HES still American?” I would argue that the HES has never positioned itself as “American” and certainly does not think of itself that way today. HES has always considered itself an international society and indeed was the only scholarly society for historians of economics, outside of Japan, until relatively recently. The international nature of the HES is well illustrated by the continued representation of scholars from around the world on its Executive Committee and on the committees for its annual prizes and honors.

    1. Steve,

      It wasn’t a criticism.
      But HES is seen as the American society for HET, the meetings always in North America and typically also its presidents.
      I am just thinking about the demographics of our profession and what that looks like. Again with no term of comparison, this is a silly exercise.

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