About Tiago Mata


Posts by Tiago Mata:

Key ECONPUBLIC publications

The “Economics in the Public Sphere” (ECONPUBLIC) project asked four main questions and I list the most significant publications under those four headings.

1. How have representations of economic expertise changed over time?

  • Mata, T. and Medema, S.G. (eds) 2013. The Economist as Public Intellectual, special issue of History of Political Economy, 45(5), 336 pages.
  • Morris, J. under review. “Is Central Bank Transparency (Really) a Recent Phenomenon? The Politics of Communicative Experiments at the Bank of England.”
  • Undurraga, T. and Pedroso, A. forthcoming. “Elite journalists and mainstream economists in Brazil: elective affinity or professional illusion?” Journalism Studies.
  • 2. How do economic journalists perceive the practice and goals of their reporting?

  • Undurraga, T. 2017. “Making News, Making the Economy: Technological Changes and Financial Pressures in Brazil” Cultural Sociology 11(1): 77-96.
  • Mata, T. forthcoming. “The managerial ideal and business magazines in the Great Depression” Enterprise & Society.
  • Undurraga, T. 2017. “Knowledge production in economic journalism: translation, mediation and dreams of authorship in Brazil.” The Sociological Review.
  • Undurraga, T. forthcoming. “Making news of value: exploiting dissonances in economic journalism” Journal of Cultural Economy.
  • 3. What strategies do social movements employ to challenge and shape media representations of expertise?

  • Mata, T. forthcoming. “Milton Friedman and Paul Samuelson, columnists of Newsweek” Journal of the History of Economic Thought.
  • Anthony, S. under review. “Free enterprise on film: Aims of Industry, economic liberalism and the birth of the industrial film.”
  • Morris, J. under review “Decentring Ingenuity: Modes of Calculation and Intuition in The Bank of England’s Financial Literacy Assemblages.”
  • Habermehl, V. draft. “On credibility and public numbers, inflation reporting in Argentina after the INDEC intervention.”
  • Habermehl, V. draft. “Precarity and crisis, economic organising from below in two markets in Buenos Aires.”
  • 4. What role do media performances play in the careers of economists?

  • Mata, T. and Medema, S.G. 2013. “The Cultures of Expertise and the Public Interventions of Economists” History of Political Economy 45(5), 1-19.
  • Morris, J. 2016. “The Performativity, Performance and Lively Practices in Financial Stability Press Conferences” Journal of Cultural Economy 9(3): 245-260.
  • Morris, J. forthcoming. “Stress Testing, Performativity and a Possibilistic Risk Calculus” Hollow, Garnett and Morris (eds) Research Handbook on Risk Management in Complex Systems.
  • The Economist, a book

    Finally, I have edited a major collection of essays on The Economist.

  • Mata, T. (ed) forthcoming. The Economist in History: The Political Economy of Liberal Journalism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Key ECONPUBLIC events

    In the course of its lifetime the “Economics in the Public Sphere” (ECONPUBLIC) project organized the following events. Links are to a detailed description of each event on the project’s UCL webpage:

      Social Reproduction and Everyday Economy” (2016)
      Social Studies of the Economy” (2016)
      The Regulation of Public Numbers” (2016)
      Economics in Film” partnered with the British Film Institute (2015)
      Half a day on FAZ: the History of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” (2015)
      175 Years of The Economist” (2015)
      Brazilian Media and the Journalistic Field” (2015)
      “The text analysis of media text” (2015)
      Economic Reason: Intellectuals and Think-Tanks in the Late 20th Century” (2013)
      Interrogating Economics in the Public Sphere” (2013)

    Capitalist Threads: Engels the Businessman and Marx’s Capital

    Capitalist Threads: Engels the Businessman and Marx’s Capital in History of Political Economy with Robert Van Horn, 2017, 49(2): 207-232.


    This essay illuminates a neglected aspect of Friedrich Engels’s life: his work at his family’s textile firm, Ermen & Engels, in Manchester, the hub of the cotton industry in the mid-nineteenth century. We argue that Engels was a merchant and an intelligencer with a detailed, comprehensive understanding of products and the movements of goods, orders, and prices in the global cotton trade. The statistical insights Engels gleaned on matters such as machinery depreciation and reinvestment, his contextualization of capitalism within a unified world market, and his recognition of the tendencies toward overproduction that threatened economic crisis, all contributed to shaping key ideas and themes of Karl Marx’s Capital Volumes I and II, leaving a lasting imprint on Marxist political economy.

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    Cultures of Expertise and the Public Interventions of Economists

    PI-2013Cultures of Expertise and the Public Interventions of Economists in History of Political Economy with Steven G. Medema, 2012, 45(supplement): 1-19.

    The essay introduces the special issue of History of Political Economy for 2013 on “The Economist as Public Intellectual.” The essay provides a foil to the studies included in the volume that range the twentieth century examining the public interventions of economists, and close competitors, in the USA and UK.

    The volume can be purchased from Duke University Press.

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    National Science Foundation Patronage of Social Science, 1970s and 1980s

    National Science Foundation Patronage of Social Science, 1970s and 1980s: Congressional Scrutiny, Advocacy Network, and the Prestige of Economics in Minerva with Thomas Scheiding, 2012, 50(4): 423–449.

    Research in the social sciences received generous patronage in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Research was widely perceived as providing solutions to emerging social problems. That generosity came under increased contest in the late 1970s. Although these trends held true for all of the social sciences, this essay explores the various ways by which economists in particular reacted to and resisted the patronage cuts that were proposed in the first budgets of the Reagan administration. Economists’ response was three fold: to engage in joint lobbying with other social scientists, to tap into their authority as a respected policy player, and to influence the types of research financed by the patron. With interviews of the former lobbyist for the social scientists, the former director of the Economics program for the National Science Foundation, and a review of the archival records of economists and their scholarly society, we discuss how economists have claimed entitlement to patronage in the closing decades of the twentieth century. We observe a dynamic and productive relationship between politicians and researchers mediated by the National Science Foundation, where civil servants, lobbyist and public minded scientists, and self-serving grantees trade roles.

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    Godley Moves in Mysterious Ways

    Godley Moves in Mysterious Ways: The Craft of Economic Judgment in Post-war Britain in Contributions in Stock-flow Modeling: Essays in Honor of Wynne Godley, D. Papadimitriou and G. Zezza (eds.) 2012, 12-35.

    The essay is a brief biographical sketch of Wynne Godley. It records and comments Godley’s career in government and academia, and examines his approach to economics as craft-like, grounded on a tacit understanding of the structures and movements of economic aggregates.

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