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  ‘Cliometrics’ was the ironic name given to the ‘new economic history’, or ‘quantitative economic history’ developed in the 1950s and 1960s, principally in the US, but also in the UK and elsewhere in Europe. Clio is the muse of History and ‘metrics’ refers to measurement. Methodologically sophisticated economists abandoned the previous practices in the discipline of economic history (which primarily involved careful generalization after the accumulation of facts and historical case-studies) and instead behaved like econometricians (economists concerned with testing economic theory in a quantitative form). Their basic method was to develop a theory or hypothesis and test it against data to see if it could be verified or falsified through regression analysis. Whatever the deficiencies of particular works in this vein cliometricians have transformed economic history, imparting to it a degree of conceptual and empirical rigour it had previously lacked. However, cliometrics still has critics who claim that there is nothing new under the Sun. BO\'L

See also econometrics.Further reading D.N. McCloskey, ‘The Achievements of the Cliometric School’ in Journal of Economic History.



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