E. Roy Weintraub


Emeritus Professor of Economics


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Roy Weintraub was trained as a mathematician and began his career as a mathematical economist. In the 1980s he reconstructed his research and teaching activities to focus upon the history of the interconnection between mathematics and economics in the twentieth century. That work, in the history of economics, helped shape the understanding of economists and historians: his General Equilibrium Theory (1985), Stabilizing Dynamics (1991), Toward a History of Game Theory (ed.) (1992), How Economics Became a Mathematical Science (2002) and (with Till Düppe) Finding Equilibrium: Arrow, Debreu, McKenzie and the Problem of Scientific Credit (2014) chart the transformation of economics from a historical to a mathematical discipline. In recent years his work has turned more self-consciously historiographic, resulting in edited volumes on The Future of the History of Economics (2002), Economists Lives: Biography and Autobiography in the History of Economics (2007, with Evelyn Forget), and MIT and the Transformation of American Economics (2014).  A former President of the History of Economics Society, his books and articles have been variously translated into Japanese, Chinese, French, Greek, Spanish, Hungarian, and Italian. Currently he is Associate Editor of the History of Political Economy. In 2011 he was named a “Distinguished Fellow of the History of Economics Society”.

He has held visiting positions at the University of Hawaii, UCLA, the University of Rome, the University of Bristol, the University of Venice, and the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan. He has been one of the few economists honored by a fellowship year at the National Humanities Center. At Duke he was Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Economics from 1972 to 1983, Chair of that department from 1983 to 1987, Acting Director of the Institute of Statistics and Decision Sciences in 1987, Director of the Center for Social and Historical Studies of Science from 1995 to 1999, and has twice chaired the Academic Council, Duke’s faculty senate. From 1993 to 1995, he served as Acting Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

A native of the Philadelphia area, Professor Weintraub received his A.B. degree in mathematics from Swarthmore College, and the M.S. and Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania. He joined the Duke University faculty in 1970 following a first academic position at Rutgers University.