Deirdre Nansen McCloskey


Deirdre Nansen McCloskey taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago from 2000 to 2015 in economics, history, English, and communication. A well-known economist, historian and rhetorician, she has written 17 books and around 400 scholarly pieces on topics ranging from technical economics and statistical theory to transgender advocacy and the ethics of the bourgeois virtues. With Stephen Ziliak in 2008 she wrote The Cult of Statistical Significance (University of Michigan Press), which shows that null hypothesis tests of “significance” are, in the absence of a substantive loss function, meaningless (in 2011 the book figured in a unanimous Supreme Court decision). Her latest book, Bourgeois Equality: How Ideas, Not Capital or Institutions, Enriched the World (University of Chicago Press) in January 2016, argues for an “ideational” explanation for the Great Enrichment 1800 to the present.