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The improbable econometric connection - Schumpeter and Frisch at the midnight of the century

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  • Francisco Louçã

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Abstract

When Joseph Schumpeter and Ragnar Frisch first met in the autumn of 1927 at Harvard, both the ensuing personal friendship and the intense academic and institutional cooperation were highly unlikely. Schumpeter, who was by then preparing to leave Germany for his American life-long exile, was twelve years older than Frisch and had a previous intense career as the most frequently quoted economist in the first decades of the century, only to be shadowed later by the glittering triumph of Keynes’s ‘General Theory’. Comparatively, Frisch was just a young economist with no publications. Furthermore, Frisch invited his colleague to the most daring adventure: to create econometrics as the tool to reconstruct economics as a mathematically based social science. Surprisingly, Schumpeter, who was totally innocent of mathematics, embarked and enthusiastically supported the construction and workings of the Econometric Society, which would become the Olympus of economics since those frightful years of what a novelist called the “midnight of the century”. This paper presents some evidence on this improbable econometric connection. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Francisco Louçã, 2015. "The improbable econometric connection - Schumpeter and Frisch at the midnight of the century," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 173-184, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joevec:v:25:y:2015:i:1:p:173-184
    DOI: 10.1007/s00191-014-0359-3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Tiago Mata & Francisco Louçã, 2009. "The Solow Residual as a Black Box: Attempts at Integrating Business Cycle and Growth Theories," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 41(5), pages 334-355, Supplemen.
    2. Francisco Louca, 1999. "The econometric challenge to Keynes: arguments and contradictions in the early debates about a late issue," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(3), pages 404-438.
    3. Louca, Francisco, 2001. "Intriguing Pendula: Founding Metaphors in the Analysis of Economic Fluctuations," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(1), pages 25-55, January.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Frisch; Schumpeter; Econometrics; Business Cycle; B23; C18; C51;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • B23 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Econometrics; Quantitative and Mathematical Studies
    • C18 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Methodolical Issues: General
    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation

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