In my PhD project, I study the history of macroeconomics in the Netherlands; more specific, I focus on the history of Dutch Central Planning Bureau and its role in policymaking and politics. My main research question is how macroeconomics has become a form of public reason, i.e. a way to formulate the common good. The project is supervised by Huub Dijstelbloem and Federica Russo (see the tab ‘Research’ for more information).
In general I’m interested in the following topics: the history of scientific observations, the scientific self, the use of scientific reasoning in public debates, the relation between visual cultures and scientific knowledge, 20th century rationality, and continental philosophy of science.
Side interest include the link between the philosophy and the history of science, and the philosophy of historiography.
The topic of my PhD research is the relation between economic sciences on the one hand and political discourse and policymaking on the other. More specific I focus on how changes in methodology and theory in economics contribute to conceptualization of economic issues in political discussions and policymaking. In the exploration of this topic, I investigate how historically specific ways of economic modelling have related to different forms of economic expertise, institutional embedding of economics, and role of economists in governments’ apparatuses.
The research is mainly focused on writing a history of the Centraal Planbureau (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, CPB for short), the most prominent scientific advisory council for the Dutch government for financial and economic issues. Founded in 1945 by Jan Tinbergen, the CPB has perpetuated its instrumental role in the coordination of the Dutch economy, even when cultural and institutional position of the bureau has shifted considerably since its beginning. The history of the CPB, therefore, invites a diachronic study of how the institutional position, forms of scientific expertise and modeling practices have changed within one institute, and how these developments relate to each other.
It is my belief that in order to tackle to topic of the relation between economics and policy, a historical perspective that focusses on the scientific practices of economic modelling is necessary, since studying modelling practices are highly informative about what concerns and considerations models and theory of economics, and how these models inform policymakers. I see my approach in line with the writings of Mary Morgan or Marcel Boumans (among others) on economic modelling.