Tuesday, 20 February 2007
Imagination and Imaging: Making the world in an economic model
Mary Morgan, Department of Economics
London School of Economics
12:00 pm, 817R Cathedral of Learning
Modelling became one of the primary tools of mathematical economic research in the twentieth century, but when we look at examples of how nonanalogical models were first built in economics, both the process of making representations and aspects of the representing relation remain opaque. Like early astronomers, economists have to imagine how the hidden parts of their world are arranged and to make images, that is, create models, to represent how they work. The case of the Edgeworth Box, a model widely used for theoretical work in twentieth-century economics, provides a good example to explore the process of making mathematical representations of the economy. It shows how, in making these new representations, conceptual elements were developed which could not have been represented in the older verbal forms of economics.