Hugo Chu is a doctoral candidate at the University of São Paulo (FEA/USP), in Brazil...

Hugo Chu is a doctoral candidate at the University of São Paulo (FEA/USP), in Brazil, who came to the Center for the History of Political Economy to complete his dissertation. The path that brought Hugo to the Center began while he was earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Hugo’s research then focused on post-Keynesian economics, which drew him “closer to the history of economics, as heterodox approaches sometimes do.” He was further intrigued by the “interdisciplinarity” practiced by historians of economic thought.

Now Hugo is investigating the rise of the concept of the “representative agent (RA).” He explains that “contrary to the standard narrative, which attributes its origin to Robert Lucas, my work has been trying to show that it was brought up by Tjalling Koopmans in the context of the formation of the Ramsey-Cass-Koopmans (RCK) model. I hope that this work will help fill a small gap in the history of macroeconomics since it is told through the work of a person most current economists hear about only in their first-year graduate macro course.”

There are several reasons why Hugo chose to pursue his interests at CHOPE: “I love macroeconomics,” and “CHOPE is home to excellent scholars in the fields of history of mathematical economics (Roy Weintraub) and macroeconomics (Kevin Hoover), both of which are directly related to the work of Koopmans.” And Duke’s Economists’ Archives allow Hugo to explore the connection between Koopmans and Paul Samuelson. In addition, the Center was recommended to Hugo by his academic advisor, Pedro Duarte, a former fellow of the Center who earned his PhD at Duke.

After his fellowship at CHOPE, Hugo plans to defend his dissertation and work in the United States as a teacher and researcher.