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Introducing Formalism in Economics: The Growth Model of John von Neumann

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  • Sandye Gloria-Palermo

    ()
    (CEMAFI Research Department, University of Nice-Sophia-Antipolis, France)

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    Abstract

    The objective is to interpret John von Neumann's growth model as a decisive step of the forthcoming formalist revolution of the 1950s in economics. This model gave rise to an impressive variety of comments about its classical or neoclassical underpinnings. We go beyond this traditional criterion and interpret rather this model as the manifestation of von Neumann's involvement in the formalist programme of mathematician David Hilbert. We discuss the impact of Kurt Gödel’s discoveries on this programme. We show that the growth model reflects the pragmatic turn of the formalist programme after Gödel and proposes the extension of modern axiomatisation to economics..

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    File URL: http://www.panoeconomicus.rs/casopis/2010_2/02.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia in its journal Panoeconomicus.

    Volume (Year): 57 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 2 (June)
    Pages: 153-172

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    Handle: RePEc:voj:journl:v:57:y:2010:i:2:p:153-172

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    Web page: http://www.panoeconomicus.rs/

    Related research

    Keywords: Von Neumann; Growth model; Formalist revolution; Mathematical formalism; Axiomatics;

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    References

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    1. Robert J. Leonard, 1993. "From Von Neumann to Nash: Economics, Game Theory and Social Process," Cahiers de recherche du Département des sciences économiques, UQAM 9313, Université du Québec à Montréal, Département des sciences économiques.
    2. Nicola Giocoli, 2001. "Fixing the point: the contribution of early game theory to the tool-box of modern economics," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(1), pages 1-39.
    3. Robert J. Leonard, 1993. "Reason, Ethics and Rigour: Morgenstern, Menger, and Mathematical Economics, 1928 - 1944," Cahiers de recherche du Département des sciences économiques, UQAM 9403, Université du Québec à Montréal, Département des sciences économiques.
    4. Philippe Mongin, 2003. "L'axiomatisation et les théories économiques," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 54(1), pages 99-138.
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    Cited by:
    1. Sandye Gloria-Palermo, 2013. "In Search of the Right Tool: From Formalism to Constructivist Modelling," GREDEG Working Papers 2013-33, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.
    2. Sandye Gloria-Palermo, 2013. "Equilibrium versus Process: A Confrontation between Mainstream and Austrian Ontology," GREDEG Working Papers 2013-39, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.

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