Deirdre Nansen McCloskey

Deirdre Nansen McCloskey (born Donald N. McCloskey; September 11, 1942 in Ann Arbor, Michigan) is the Distinguished Professor of Economics, History, English, and Communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She is also adjunct professor of Philosophy and Classics there, and for five years was a visiting Professor of philosophy at Erasmus University, Rotterdam.

Since October 2007 she has received six honorary doctorates. In 2013, she received the Julian L. Simon Memorial Award from the Competitive Enterprise Institute for her work examining factors in history that led to advancement in human achievement and prosperity. Her main research interests include the origins of the modern world, the misuse of statistical significance in economics and other sciences, and the study of capitalism, among many others.

Books in order of publication:


Why liberalism works: how true liberal values produce a freer, more equal, prosperous world for all (2019), Yale University Press.

Bourgeois Equality: How Ideas, Not Capital or Institutions, Enriched the World (April 2016), University of Chicago Press.

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), University of Chicago Press.

Crossing: A Memoir (September 1999). New edition University of Chicago Press, 2000

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), Cambridge University Press.

Second Thoughts: Myths and Morals of U.S. Economic History (1993) (edited)

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

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