Professor Mary Morgan

Professor Mary Morgan

Albert O. Hirschman Professor of History and Philosophy of Economics

Department of Economic History

+44 (0)20 7955 7081
Room No
SAR 6.09
Office Hours
Please email for an appointment
Key Expertise
History and philosophy of economics and statistics

About me

My research interests include: history, philosophy and sociology of science, focussed on economics and statistics, models, measurements, experiments, observations and ‘travelling facts’. Her current work is focussed on three themes. One is the function of narratives in the sciences, with a forthcoming (joint) edited volume Narrative Science: Reasoning, Representing and Knowing since 1800 (CUP 20220); this is the outcome of a large European Research Grant (2016-21).  The second is a critical analysis on the various ways of measuring economic activity, the history of such numbers, and their usage in both academic and public domains.  This joins with my third focus investigating  ‘performativity’: the ways in which economic ideas and technologies of governance have reshaped economies in the world over the last century.

Finally, I have been active in the Royal Economic Society (RES) in recent years and am honoured to have been chosen as President Elect for 2022-23, and will then be President in 2023-4. 

Current and Recent Research Projects

  • ‘Narratives in Science’ a special issue of Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science in 2017; and European Research Council Advanced Investigator Grant (2016-21) 
  • British Academy Wolfson Research Professorship project: Re-Thinking Case Studies Across the Social Sciences 
  • Leverhulme Trust / ESRC project: "How Well Do Facts Travel?" (a group project of the Department of Economic History)
  • Observation in Science: joint work with the University of Amsterdam's History and Philosophy of Economics Research Group and the Max Planck Institute for History of Science in Berlin. 


  • EH429 History of Economics: Ideas, Policy and Performativity


Curriculum Vitae


Expertise Details

History and philosophy of economics and statistics

Selected publications

See CV for full listing, and Research Gate for further access

Forthcoming publications

Narrative in Economics: Historical Experiences (forthcoming, 2023) (Edited with Tom Stapleford) Special Issue of History of Political Economy, 55:3.

Narrative Science: Reasoning, Representing and Knowing since 1800 (forthcoming 2022) (Edited with Kim M. Hajek and Dominic J. Berry, Cambridge University Press; Open Access).

“Narrative: A General Purpose Technology for Science” (forthcoming 2022)  in Narrative Science: Reasoning, Representing and Knowing since 1800 (Edited with Kim M. Hajek and Dominic J. Berry, Cambridge University Press). 

“Travellers’ Tales: Their Values and Virtues” (2022 forthcoming) History of Political Economy vol 54.

“Insider, Outsider, Stranger, Resident Field-Worker? Reflections on Wade Hands’ Authorial Stance” (forthcoming 2022) in Methodology and History of Economics: Reflections with and without Rules, edited: Bruce Caldwell, John Davis, Uskali Mäki and Esther-Mirjam Sent (Routledge Press) 

Recent Books 

  • The World in the Model. (CUP, 2012) Chapter 1: "Modelling as a Method of Enquiry" 
  • How Well Do Facts Travel?  (CUP, 2011) edited with W. Peter Howlett.  Chapter 1:  “Travelling Facts” 

Recent Papers/Chapters 

  • “Narrative Inference With and Without Statistics: Making Sense of Economic Cycles with Malthus and Kondratiev” (2021) History of Political Economy (2021) 53 (S1) 113-38.
  • “O for One to One” (2021) in An Alphabet of Architectural Models ed Olivia Horsfall Turner, Simona Valeriani, Matthew Wells, Teresa Fankhänel (Merrell), pp 70-72.
  • “Glass Ceilings and Sticky Floors: Drawing New Ontologies” (Forthcoming 2016) in Cultures Without Culturalism in the Making of Scientific Knowledge ed K. Chemla and E. Fox Keller (Duke University Press) [Department of Economic History, Working Paper No 228, Dec 2015] (Link to LSE Working Paper here)
  • What if? Models, Fact and Fiction in Economics (2014) Keynes Lecture Read October 2013, posted December 2014. Journal of the British Academy, 2, 231-68.
  • Re-Situating Knowledge: Generic Strategies and Case Studies (2014) Philosophy of Science, 80, 1012-24. 
  • Nature’s Experiments and Natural Experiments in the Social Sciences (2013) Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 43:3, 341-57.  
  • Case Studies: One Observation or Many? Justification or Discovery? (2012) Philosophy of Science, 79:5, 667-77. 
  • “Models and Modelling in Economics” (2012, SSRN 2009]) With Tarja Knuuttila in U. Mäki (ed) Handbook of the Philosophy of Economics (a volume of Handbook of the Philosophy of Science, general editors: Dov Gabbay, Paul Thargard and John Woods), pp 49-86.
  • Seeking Parts, Looking for Wholes (2011) Histories of Scientific Observation, edited L. J. Daston and E. Lunbeck, University of Chicago Press pp 303-325.  
  • Business Models as Models (2010) with Charles Baden-Fuller, Long Range Planning, 43.2, 156-71.  
  • ‘Voice’ and the Facts and Observations of Experience (2010) In  W.J. Gonzales (ed)  New Methodological Perspectives on Observation and Experiment (pp 51-69). A Coruña: Netbiblio. (Previously, Working Paper No 31, How Well Do Facts Travel?, Department of Economic History, LSE).  
  • 'On a Mission' with Mutable Mobiles 2008, Working Paper 34, The Nature of Evidence: How Well Do 'Facts' Travel? Department of Economic History, LSE
  • Models (2008) in The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2nd edition, eds: S.N. Durlauf and L.E. Blume (Palgrave Macmillan), online. 
  • “An Analytical History of Measuring Practices: The Case of Velocities of Money” (2007) in Measurement in Economics: A Handbook, ed M. Boumans (Elsevier), pp 105-132. [Earlier version online: “Measuring Instruments in Economics and the Velocity of Money”,  Working Paper 13, How Well Do Facts Travel?, Department of Economic History, LSE.]