Originally published in An Economist's Guide to Economic History
Analytic narratives are used to understand historical phenomena where the data required to employ econometrics is lacking. This methodological approach allows for the analysis of a historical setting using economic theory or arguments combined with historical evidence that can be diverse in nature. Analytic narratives offer interesting alternatives to general formal models which may not be suited to understanding a particular case study or historical institution. A series of examples illustrate potential areas of application in economic history.