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Hermann, Rau, Mangoldt : les origines de la fonction d'offre de marché en Allemagne (1830 - 1870)


  • Paola Tubaro


Hermann, Rau, Mangoldt?: les origines de la fonction d'offre de march?en Allemagne (1830 ? 1870), by Paola Tubaro The paper traces the pre-marginalist origins of supply functions, paying special attention to the contributions of Hermann, Rau, et Mangoldt. With the help of algebra and geometry, they interpreted the meaning of classical economists' notions and analyses in a new way, thus discovering the modern concept of a supply function. Despite their shortcomings, these early contributions to mathematical economics did participate in the evolution of economic ideas, in that they questioned the classical approach and facilitated the advent of marginalism. While classical views lead to the conclusion that costs of production depend on highly heterogeneous phenomena, Hermann's formulae and Rau and Mangoldt's diagrams imply a unifying and symmetric interpretation of the behaviour of production costs. In this sense, they anticipated Marshall's belief that one single law accounts for any shape of the supply curve. Journal of Economic Literature classification numbers?: B13, C60, D20.

Suggested Citation

  • Paola Tubaro, 2005. "Hermann, Rau, Mangoldt : les origines de la fonction d'offre de marché en Allemagne (1830 - 1870)," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 71(2), pages 223-243.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:reldbu:rel_712_0223

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    Hermann; Rau; Mangoldt; early mathematical economics; supply functions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • B13 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Neoclassical through 1925 (Austrian, Marshallian, Walrasian, Wicksellian)
    • C60 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - General
    • D20 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - General


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