Published online by Cambridge University Press: 18 April 2018
The role of traveling as a source of discovery and development of new ideas has been controversial in the history of economics. Despite their protective attitude toward established theory, economists have traveled widely and gained new insights or asked new questions as a result of their exposure to “other” economic systems, ideas, and forms of behavior. That is particularly the case when they travel to new places while their frameworks are in their initial stages or undergoing changes. This essay examines economists’ traveling as a potential source of new hypotheses, from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries, with a detailed case study of Douglass North’s 1961 travel to Brazil.
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