Mark Blaug: Rebel with Many Causes

Mark Blaug: Rebel with Many Causes

Edited by Marcel Boumans and Matthias Klaes

This collection of eminent contributions discusses the ideas and works of Mark Blaug, who has made important and often pioneering contributions to economic history, economic methodology, the economics of education, development economics, cultural economics, economic theory and the history of economic thought. Besides these assessments of Blaug’s influence and impact in these fields, this volume also contains a selection of personal portraits which depict him as a colleague, a friend and an opponent. Blaug was also a voracious reader and prolific writer, which is clearly evidenced by the comprehensive bibliography.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Marcel Boumans and Matthias Klaes

Subjects: economics and finance, cultural economics, economics of education, history of economic thought, methodology of economics


Mark Blaug died on 18 November, 2011, at home in Tavistock (UK). This sad news came to us by a sober message on the SHOE (Societies for the History of Economics) list, written by Roger Backhouse, a few days later. An intellectual ‘giant’ had died. From his first publications in 1956 onwards, he had written important, often pioneering contributions to economic history, economic methodology, economics of education and development economics, economics of the arts, economic theory, and history of economic thought. Mark was indeed ‘not only an economist’ (Blaug 1994b). To commemorate his ideas and the influence they had on many of us a Memorial Conference was held on 28 March, 2012 at the Erasmus Institute for Philosophy and Economics (EIPE), Rotterdam (NL). In parallel, on 26 March in the same week, the Scottish Centre for Economic Methodology (SCEME) hosted a seminar at the University of Glasgow in tribute to his work. It was fitting in many ways that these two events should commemorate Mark’s legacy in the Netherlands and the UK as the two countries Mark regarded as his home, sharing his time between them during the past two decades. Equally, it was fitting that EIPE and SCEME should honour him in his way given his longstanding and crucial involvement in both institutions. For both conferences we invited old and new friends and colleagues to talk, discuss, and argue his ideas and their legacy in a way that we were sure Mark would have loved to counter.