Deirdre McCloskey

Deirdre McCloskey

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Deirdre McCloskey'
Start a new discussion about 'Deirdre McCloskey'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Deirdre N. McCloskey is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 economics
Economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

 professor
Professor
A professor is a scholarly teacher; the precise meaning of the term varies by country. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences; a teacher of high rank...

. Her job title at the University of Illinois at Chicago
University of Illinois at Chicago
The University of Illinois at Chicago, or UIC, is a state-funded public research university located in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Its campus is in the Near West Side community area, near the Chicago Loop...

 (UIC) is Distinguished Professor of Economics
Economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

, History
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

, English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

, and Communication
Communication
Communication is the activity of conveying meaningful information. Communication requires a sender, a message, and an intended recipient, although the receiver need not be present or aware of the sender's intent to communicate at the time of communication; thus communication can occur across vast...

. She is also adjunct professor of Philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 and Classics at UIC, and was for five years the Tinbergen Distinguished Professor of Economics, Philosophy, History, English, and Arts and Culture
ARts
aRts, which stands for analog Real time synthesizer, is an audio framework that is no longer under development. It is best known for previously being used in KDE to simulate an analog synthesizer....

, at Erasmus University
Erasmus University
Erasmus University Rotterdam is a university in the Netherlands, located in Rotterdam. The university is named after Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus, a 15th century humanist and theologian...

, Rotterdam
Rotterdam
Rotterdam is the second-largest city in the Netherlands and one of the largest ports in the world. Starting as a dam on the Rotte river, Rotterdam has grown into a major international commercial centre...

. Since October 2007 she has received two honorary doctorates.

Career


McCloskey earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Economics
Economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

 at Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

. (Her study of British iron and steel won in 1973 the distinguished David A. Wells Prize for best dissertation.)

In 1968—while still a graduate student—McCloskey was hired by Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman was an American economist, statistician, academic, and author who taught at the University of Chicago for more than three decades...

 and Robert Fogel
Robert Fogel
Robert William Fogel is an American economic historian and scientist, and winner of the 1993 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. He is now the Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor of American Institutions and director of the Center for Population Economics at the...

 to join the faculty of Economics at the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

, where she stayed for 12 years with tenure producing and teaching price theory and economic history before turning in 1979 to the study of rhetoric, feminism, and the history and philosophy of economics and other human sciences. At the University of Iowa
University of Iowa
The University of Iowa is a public state-supported research university located in Iowa City, Iowa, United States. It is the oldest public university in the state. The university is organized into eleven colleges granting undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees...

, McCloskey, the John Murray Professor of Economics and of History (1980–1999), published The Rhetoric of Economics (1985) and co-founded with John S. Nelson, Allan Megill, and others a field of study, "the rhetoric of the human sciences," and an institution and graduate program, the Project on Rhetoric of Inquiry. McCloskey has authored or edited more than 20 books and over 300 articles challenging standard assumptions in the field.

Her major contributions since the 1960s are in the economic history of Britain, the quantification of historical inquiry, the rhetoric of economics, the rhetoric of the human sciences, economic methodology, virtue ethics, feminist economics
Feminist economics
Feminist economics broadly refers to a developing branch of economics that applies feminist lenses to economics. Research under this heading is often interdisciplinary or heterodox...

, heterodox economics
Heterodox economics
"Heterodox economics" refers to approaches or to schools of economic thought that are considered outside of "mainstream economics". Mainstream economists sometimes assert that it has little or no influence on the vast majority of academic economists in the English speaking world. "Mainstream...

, the role of mathematics in economic analysis, and the use (and misuse) of significance testing in economics. She has argued that economists often celebrate "statistically significant" results while ignoring the economic significance of results, an argument that McCloskey readily admits to being both old and well-known among sophisticates of science.

She discussed some of these issues in the inaugural James M. Buchanan
James M. Buchanan
James McGill Buchanan, Jr. is an American economist known for his work on public choice theory, for which he received the 1986 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. Buchanan's work initiated research on how politicians' self-interest and non-economic forces affect government economic policy...

 Lecture at George Mason University
George Mason University
George Mason University is a public university based in unincorporated Fairfax County, Virginia, United States, south of and adjacent to the city of Fairfax. Additional campuses are located nearby in Arlington County, Prince William County, and Loudoun County...

 on April 7, 2006. She said there, capitalism "is an ethically drenched human activity" which requires attention to all of the classical seven virtues
Seven virtues
In the Catholic catechism, the seven catholic virtues refer to the combination of two lists of virtues, the 4 cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, restraint or temperance, and courage or fortitude, and the 3 theological virtues of faith, hope, and love or charity ; these were adopted by the...

, while economists usually focus exclusively on prudence
Prudence
Prudence is the ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason. It is classically considered to be a virtue, and in particular one of the four Cardinal virtues .The word comes from Old French prudence , from Latin...

. Her book The Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Commerce is the first of a projected six-volume magnum opus. The second book, Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can't Explain the Modern World was published in 2010 and a draft of the third volume, Bourgeois Towns: How Capitalism Became Ethical, 1600-1848, is available online in her website.

Quotation



Personal life


McCloskey was the first child of the late Robert McCloskey
Robert McCloskey
Robert McCloskey was an American author and illustrator of children's books. McCloskey wrote and illustrated eight books, two of which won the Caldecott Medal, the American Library Association's annual award of distinction for children's book illustration.Many of McCloskey's books were set on the...

, a professor of government at Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

, and the former Helen Stueland, a poet.

She transitioned from male to female in 1995, at the age of 53, a fact recorded in the New York Times Notable Book of the Year, Crossing: A Memoir (1999, University of Chicago Press). McCloskey was married and fathered two children. She changed her name from Donald to "Dee" to Deirdre.

McCloskey advocates on behalf of the rights of persons and organizations in the LGBT
LGBT
LGBT is an initialism that collectively refers to "lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender" people. In use since the 1990s, the term "LGBT" is an adaptation of the initialism "LGB", which itself started replacing the phrase "gay community" beginning in the mid-to-late 1980s, which many within the...

 community. She was also a key person in the Blanchard, Bailey, and Lawrence theory controversy and in the debate over J. Michael Bailey
J. Michael Bailey
John Michael Bailey is an American psychologist and professor at Northwestern University. He is best known among scientists for his work on the etiology of sexual orientation, from which he concluded that homosexuality is substantially inherited...

's book The Man Who Would Be Queen
The Man Who Would Be Queen
The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism is a 2003 book by J. Michael Bailey, published by Joseph Henry Press....

.

Publications

  • Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can't Explain the Modern World (November 2010) University of Chicago Press
  • The Cult of Statistical Significance: How the Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice, and Lives (January 2008) University of Michigan Press (with Stephen T. Ziliak)
  • The Bourgeois Virtues : Ethics for an Age of Commerce (June 2006) University of Chicago Press
  • The Economic Conversation (2008) (with Arjo Klamer and Stephen Ziliak)
  • The Secret Sins of Economics (August 2002)
  • Crossing: A Memoir (September 1999) is McCloskey's account of her growing recognition (while a boy and man) of her female identity, and her transition — both surgical and social — into a woman (including her reluctant divorce from her wife). Following sex-reassignment surgery, the book describes her new life continuing her career as a female academic economist.
  • Measurement and Meaning in Economics: The Essential Deirdre McCloskey (1999) (edited by Stephen Ziliak)
  • The Vices of Economists, the Virtues of the Bourgeoisie (1996)
  • Knowledge and Persuasion in Economics (1994)
  • Second Thoughts: Myths and Morals of U.S. Economic History (1993)
  • A Bibliography of Historical Economics to 1980 (1990)
  • If You're So Smart: The Narrative of Economic Expertise (1990)
  • The Consequences of Economic Rhetoric (1988)
  • The Writing of Economics (1987) reprinted as Economical Writing (2000)
  • Econometric History (1987)
  • The Rhetoric of the Human Sciences: Language and Argument in Scholarship and Public Affairs (1987)
  • The Rhetoric of Economics (1985 & 1998)
  • The Applied Theory of Price (1982 & 1985)
  • Enterprise and Trade in Victorian Britain: Essays in Historical Economics (1981)
  • Economic Maturity and Entrepreneurial Decline: British Iron & Steel, 1870-1913 (1973)
  • Essays on a Mature Economy: Britain after 1840 (1971)

Articles

  • Modern Epistemology Against Analytic Philosophy: A Reply to Maki Journal of Economic Literature Vol. 33, No. 3 (Sep., 1995), pp. 1319–1323
  • The Rhetoric of Law and Economics Michigan Law Review Vol. 86, No. 4 (Feb., 1988), pp. 752–767
  • The Loss Function Has Been Mislaid: The Rhetoric of Significance Tests, American Economic Review, Vol. 75, No. 2, Papers and Proceedings of the Ninety-Seventh Annual Meeting of the American Economic Association (May, 1985), pp. 201–205
  • The Rhetoric of Economics, Journal of Economic Literature Vol. 21, No. 2 (Jun., 1983), pp. 481–517
  • McCloskey D, Ziliak S T. (1996 March). The Standard Error of Regressions. Journal of Economic Literature Vol. 34:97-114.
  • McCloskey D N, Ziliak S T. (2004). Size Matters: The Standard Error of Regressions in the American Economic Review. Econ Journal Watch
    Econ Journal Watch
    Econ Journal Watch is a triannual peer-reviewed electronic journal established in 2004. It is published by the Atlas Economic Research Foundation on behalf of the American Institute for Economic Research...

    . 1(2) 331-338.

External links